Michael Adebolajo, one of the Woolwich terrorists (the one filmed with his hands bloodied whilst holding a meat cleaver, having just beheaded and disembowelled Lee Rigby, a British soldier, in the middle of a crowded street), was brought up in a devoutly religious family. Every week his parents took him to religious buildings to praise almighty God. His mother took particular pride in the strength of her faith and would ensure that she and her children were well presented for their regular trips to the house of God and made a great show of such occasions in the hope it would inspire others. His nurture has been summarised as “a strict religious upbringing”.
Michael Adebolajos’ family were Christians.
His mother has been universally praised in the press for bringing up Michael in the Christian way, but I wonder whether preparing his mind to submit to the will of God, indeed indoctrinating him into thinking that there is a God at all, really was a good thing. If someone is raised to rely on a strict religious structure to their life, to have little regard for evidence based thinking and to believe that having faith is the very highest of virtues, then how surprised should we be that he swapped the Bible for the Quran? They are not that different, though one would think otherwise from the way that the media represents them in the so-called Christian west. In reality, the only significant difference is that most Christians in the western world ignore the Bible. And of course the Quran actually borrows very heavily from the Bible – 7th century labourers can only be so inspired it turns out.
So I want to ask this; how likely is it that Michael Adebolajo would have been convinced of the righteousness of his actions when attacking Lee Rigby had he been raised to think critically? Just how good is it to indoctrinate children with the faith of their parents before their critical faculties have fully developed?