Southwestern Seminary group reports from London; Islamic studies professor responds

FORT WORTH, Texas — More than 50 students and professors from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, were in England for the seminary’s annual Oxford Summer Study Program when four terrorist bombings rocked London Thursday.

Malcolm Yarnell III, assistant dean for theological studies and the leader of the group, said that all students and faculty members participating in the program were accounted for and safe. He said the group held a prayer session for the people of London focused on Psalm 146:5-10.

“A number of people here at Oxford and at Regent’s Park College have relatives who live and work in London. We have been counseling and encouraging them and praying for their loved ones,” Yarnell said.

Yarnell said the Oxford 2005 program’s plans would continue as normal for now, “except that we will likely call off our planned visit to London this Saturday.”

“We would appreciate Southern Baptists and other American Christians lifting up the British people in prayer during their time of tragedy,” he said. Seminary President Paige Patterson, also in Europe, encouraged the seminary family to pray for the people of London as they assess the loss of life and deal with the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Samuel Shahid, professor of Islamic studies at Southwestern, said 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,” Shahid said.

Shahid said the terrorists want to bring the world into ‘dar al Islam,’ or a global Islamic state. “I am not talking about all Muslims, but the radical extremists,” he said.

“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

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