It's a disconcerting thought I haven't been able to shake off; that had I been in that shopping mall, lined up with those poor souls forced to recite passages from the Quran or be gunned down, I'd have most likely passed the al-Shabaab's sick little test.
You have to hand it to the new Iranian President. The Washington Post op ed, the NBC interview. Ahead of Rouhani's much anticipated visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, he's got the world singing his tunes. All the right buzz words are there: "peace and stability among all nations", "win-win game", "friendship and dialogue."
Nothing remains the same for any length of time. Life is constantly shifting and moving beneath our feet. And while on the surface this is a rather depressing thought, it needn't be if we learn how to embrace change and unpack its blessings. Because with each painful change comes the opportunity for new growth and new possibilities.
As someone who loved the Rav deeply and benefitted tremendously from his wisdom, teachings and love seeing many of the erroneous reports about his life have moved me to tell the truth of the man that I had the honour of knowing.
The attack and hostage-taking in Nairobi seems to have been led by the Somali-based Al-Shabab movement that is ostensibly 'retaliating' against the Kenyan contribution to the African Union peace-keeping force in Somalia. What is equally noticeable about the Nairobi case is that those cold-blooded killers allegedly started asking customers in the various shops of the mall for the name of the mother of the Prophet Muhammad.
Unless people are committing a crime or outraging public decency they can wear what they like. Other than that, no-one should be telling people what to wear. Difficulties arise when there are no precise rulings or new situations arise...
Violence in the name of Islam is on everyone's minds. Imagine you are a Muslim parent, or simply a Muslim citizen, and you discover your son, or a friend, is taking an unhealthy interest in extremist websites. What do you do?
With global economic uncertainty still with us, and sovereign states struggling and cutting back on their spending, expectations of philanthropists, charities and aid agencies are immense. We are trying to practise cost cutting and to find new ways of helping because we are frustrated with the old ways.
If Strip Church is about helping strippers who are looking to get out of the business, well then, bravo. But if it's also about implying that they need to be forgiven for their pasts, it feels like they're layering on their own belief system and values on these women.
In recent days the niqab - a facial veil worn by some Muslim women - has once again become the subject of intense media attention. The latest reincarnation of this issue began several weeks ago when a Muslim defendant refused to remove the headwear standing trial at Blackfriars Crown Court...
Give me one good reason why a woman shouldn't be allowed to cover her face in public if that's what she wants to do. You don't object to her covering her buttocks, do you, or her breasts? Do you find it offensive if a woman wears sunglasses? And anyway, what's it got to do with you?
I'm not a religious scholar and indeed I know their are different schools of thought on this very issue. But I'm sorry we have got this whole debate wrong. When I see a Muslim women wearing the veil I don't think 'Oh no she's a Terrorist'. Indeed, I don't sit down thinking she is a national security issue.
Our search for God is a hopefulness that we too might find ourselves. Go for a walk in any green landscape near you. You will see what atheists refuse to believe exists because they choose to be blind.
There's no definite proof that we are in a simulation, but additionally there's a lack of evidence to contrast the theory. With more and more evidence appearing out of the Bonn experiments, it's looking exceedingly likely that the simulation theory may become part of mainstream debate over the coming years.
We only need to look at the events over the last 18 months or so to question why are the football authorities such as FIFA and UEFA not doing enough to crack down on this violence?
From my discussions with Jewish friends who support Tottenham Hotspur, whose fans are known as the 'Yid Army' and Arsenal who probably boast more Jewish supporters than Tottenham do, most of them never shout the word 'Yid'. They don't join in with the chants because the word is still repulsive to many of them. Listening to it is still uncomfortable.