British soldiers in Afghanistan are to be issued with guns inscribed with references to passages from the Bible - risking handing a propaganda victory to Muslim extremists.
The sights for the Sharpshooter assault rifle, bought this week to boost the fight against the Taliban, are etched with the characters JN8:12.
This is a reference to chapter 8 verse 12 in the book of John, which reads: ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.’
I think I’ve got to agree with the PR problem this poses. (At least for once it’s not an American-generated problem.) I mean, we’re not talking about In-N-Out cups here. Many in the Muslim world have long seen the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the broader, amorphous war on terror, as being part of a war on Islam. How will they reconcile this with our proclamations that it isn’t?