Southwestern Seminarians Respond to London Bombings

In response to this morning’s tragic “terrorist bombings” in London, some 50 American seminarians in Oxford are urging Christians to keep Britain in prayer. Meanwhile, a professor back in the United States is saying the attacks illustrate the desire of radicals to rule the world.

The members of the group, enrolled in the annual Oxford Summer Study Program from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), were all accounted for and safe, according to the seminary news release.

The assistant dean for theological studies, Malcolm Yarnell III, who is leading the group, said they held a prayer session for the citizens of London. Although Oxford 2005 program will proceed as normal, the visit to London this Saturday, however, will mostly likely be canceled, he said.

“We would appreciate Southern Baptists and other American Christians lifting up the British people in prayer during their time of tragedy," said Yarnell.

Meanwhile, over at SWBTS's campus in Fort Worth, Texas, Professor of Islamic studies Samuel Shahid at Southwestern, commented on the happening, stating that the attacks on the London transportation system illustrate the “desire of radical Islamists to rule to the world.”

"The goal of these people, especially if it is Al Qaeda, is to fight and kill indiscriminately. It does not matter to them whether or not they kill civilians. They are fighting against those who are not supporting Islam, all of the people in what is called the 'dar al harb,' or the abode of war," said Shahid.

What the terrorists want, he continued, is to bring the world into 'dar al Islam,' or a global Islamic state, adding "I am not talking about all Muslims, but the radical extremists.”

"The attacks in London were, without a doubt, a statement made upon the opening of the G8 Summit. They want to prove that they are still strong enough to do something, to show that they can do something despite the security plans that are meant to protect the country," Shahid said.

Meanwhile, Seminary President Paige Patterson, who is also in Europe, encouraged the seminary family to pray for the people in London during the time of tragedy.