Readers’ letters - September 25

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Understand roots of recent terror attacks

Young terrorists aren’t ‘evil’ – they are brainwashed

This might come across as a tad controversial as it goes against the current way of thinking in society, or so it appears from the angle that the entire mass media takes.

This media angle is that the Isis suicide bombers and terrorists are “evil” human beings, so vile that words cannot fully describe them.

But has anyone noticed that many of these terrorists – the ones from the Manchester Arena and the Boston Marathon incidents spring to mind – are often in their early 20s or even teenagers?

I do not see these characters as evil. I feel sorry for them, they have been brainwashed and their relatively young age has left them open to manipulation.

The West cannot wash its hands of this so easily either by branding these young terrorists as evil.

We have, or rather our governments have, created the environment where these young lads have felt the need to carry out these attacks.

Difficult as it is to accept for some, our government - headed by Tony Blair at the time- took us into an illegal war in Iraq , an act which has led to thousands upon thousands of civilians being killed. And now we are paying the consequences.

So perhaps, before we all jump on the “evil” bandwagon, we should look at the bigger picture.

The victims of many of these terrorist bombings include the attackers themselves, and very often the family of the attackers who are often devastated to find out in the harshest circumstances how their child has been brainwashed into carrying out these killings.

I appreciate this view may not be for everyone with recent attacks being so close to home but I would ask readers to try to look at the other side of the coin. Perhaps then we can slowly move towards peace in our time.

Julie Moss

via email

retro

Reflections on war aftermath

With reference to the pictures and feature of Germany after the Second World War (LP Sept 13 ).

I served in BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) in 1957 and I had a colleague, a REME sergeant (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), who had been a POW and was part of work party that used to help clear bomb damage in Cologne.

In an argument with another sergeant in our mess he was adamant that the Dom (Cologne Cathedral) had not been hit by bombs.

Looking at that photo (inset) either he was wrong or some bombs came very close.

E W Jones

Lancaster

wildlife

Children must be taught respect

I love to spend a little time in Market Square watching the world go by. Why do so many parents think it’s great fun to allow their ‘little darlings’ to chase or kick the birds?

I have to agree, pigeons can be a nuisance but they are hungry and spend most of their lives looking for food to satisfy their hunger. If parents urge their children to chase or kick the pigeons, they will not distinguish between pigeons, sparrows, robins or any other of our beautiful but dwindling English wildlife.

A few weeks ago, after very high winds, a few branches had broken off the trees, I observed one man trim off a branch and give it to his ‘little darling’ to “hit the birds”.

The small boy spent quite a while hitting out at the pigeons, much to the delight of his proud dad. If you read this letter, you are an absolute disgrace. Recently, while walking up Penny Street, a lady came out of a food shop with a small boy. The child put his hand in his bag and broke off a piece of food and offered it to a lone pigeon.

It really did bring a tear to my eye. Many, many thanks to you for renewing my faith in my fellow human beings. You really made my day.

Proud Lancastrian

Lancaster

church

Secret sign of a good vicar

I have no wish to take sides in the chairs versus pews debate at All Saints, Higher Walton (LP Sept 19). It isn’t my church and I don’t know the facts. However, I would like to make one general observation.

This re-ordering, like almost every other re-ordering of churches in the Church of England, seems to remove the opportunity to kneel at the appropriate parts of services. I can no longer kneel, for age-related mobility reasons, but I did so for as long as I could. But increasingly today one sees people of all ages adopting what used to be called “the non-conformist crouch”. Is kneeling to be a thing of the past in the Anglican church?

I remember the old story of a bishop who judged his vicars by their trousers. Was it the seat or the knees which showed the most signs of wear?

Neil Inkley

Walton-le-Dale

family

Help find friends and relatives

I am 90 in January and my purpose in writing to the newspaper is in the hope that someone will read it and contact me.

I am trying to trace my long lost relatives and friends from the time that I lived and worked in Blackpool and Lancashire. I was born in London to a Maltese father and an English mother. When they were killed by a bomb in the last war, I was evacuated up to Blackpool to some people named Mercer where I worked for them doing the local markets in Blackburn, Chorley, Accrington, Preston selling cheese.

I am trying to trace my wife’s (deceased) family and those children from the Mercers. I married a daughter of the Mercers.

I found some relatives of my father in Malta from a newspaper article about my search. Now I’m in Lancashire trying to trace others both from my wife and the Mercers, Sam Mercer, Bert Mercer, Tom Mercer and John and Alice (nee Ashcroft) who had two kids. My wife and our two children went to Australia to live in Brisbane in 1953 but it is my desire to find relatives and friends as I am now old.

Please email basil.povis@gmail.com

Basil J Povis

Preston