After 7/7 the line was "nothing to do with religion ... peaceful Muslims ... diversity ... valuable contribution ..."
As the Bishop of Lichfield said :
... just as the IRA has nothing to do with Christianity; so this kind of terror has nothing to do with any of the world faiths ...
Turns out that it WAS about religion after all. Canon Philip Gray of Blackburn was a former vicar in the Lichfield diocese, but the wise words of his Bishop seem to have fallen on stony ground :
The London bombers are being bracketed with Christian crusaders by a senior member of a diocesan bishop’s staff. Both share the “same religious passion,” he says. The claim, which is certain to spark fierce controversy, is made by the chaplain to the traditionalist Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade.
Canon Philip Gray, who has been the bishop’s chaplain for four years, also suggests, in comments about terrorism, that Christians “rejoice over the bloody deaths of martyrs”. The 39-year-od chaplain makes the forthright suggestions in an article marking the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on America, which appears in the September issue of See, the Blackburn diocesan monthly. Canon Gray says: “Behind modern fanatical Islamic terrorism lie many spiritual and religious passions and narratives also found in the Christian tradition.
I think my favourite bit of Gray's Elegy is this :
We cannot simply ignore the violent passion of Jesus cleansing the temple with whips. We are never told of the collateral damage possibly resulting from his action ...
We need to consider deeply the fact that the same religious passion and spiritual single-mindedness lies at the heart of a London bomber and a Christian crusader ... what boundaries must the Church draw between taking up our cross, and the crass immorality of crusaders ? When does a freedom fighter become a terrorist ?
When indeed. How can you satirise that ?