...on Wednesday morning I happened to have a thoughtful and rather moving discussion with a Moslem girl. She had seen me using my rosary and asked me about it. We had a quiet talk about God and prayer...something rather special in a random meeting in busy London...
Later that day the ghastly murders took place in Paris.
Mutual respect and neighbourliness is central to a civilised society. In the discussion with the Moslem girl, we didn't get on to the subject of whether or not Mohammed is an authentic prophet. I don't think he is. And I believe that his followers are wrong in claiming that Jesus Christ didn't die on the Cross. They are muddled and confused, and it is right that there should be open discussion about this. In our conversation, we didn't cover these matters: we were strangers who simply got talking, and it was good to be thinking of God together.
I hope that over the next years it will continue to be possible to talk about religion in an ordinary way. I hope that I will be allowed to repeat the statement that I have just made above about Mohammed. I inmtend to do so from time to time, as a quiet statement about freedom and integrity.