Writing in the Yorkshire Post ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 attacks on London carried out by four young men from West Yorkshire, Bishop Nick says many of those who have left the UK to join ‘so-called Islamic State’ are “extremely well-educated and fully cognisant of what they are heading off to”.
He says: “Education is not the issue. Information is not lacking. What perhaps is lacking is inspiration to see life and death here as in any way valuable or attractive . . . We face an urgent need to offer real opportunities to elements of this society who – rightly or wrongly – feel disenfranchised, disempowered and disillusioned. But education won’t do this alone; we need to inspire."
He also highlights the significant positive work that has gone on in the last 10 years: "Relationships between Christians, Muslims, Jews and others have been worked at on the ground in order that they are strong and supportive when the crises come . . . There are numerous examples of mutual care and compassion in our communities as well as honest debate and discussion about the hard issues."