23 JULY 2005, Page 21

The duty of Muslim parents

From Sue Ward

Sir: I couldn’t agree more with Boris Johnson’s analysis (‘Just don’t call it war’, 16 July). The last thing we want to do is aggravate the situation.

Muslim parents need to start confronting their children about their beliefs, challenging any extreme or provocative opinions they may offer up (as all teenagers are inclined to do), checking where their children spend their time, the nature of any studies they may be engaged in and, particularly, what sort of people may be exerting influence over them outside the home. Hopefully the events of last week will encourage Muslim parents to grasp this difficult nettle.

While I feel nothing but contempt for the bombers and the manipulative, wicked people who picked them out and trained them for their evil purposes, I am sure I am not alone in having some sympathy for their parents, and for all parents trying to raise children in this mixed-up world.

Sue Ward

Swadlincote, Derbyshire