Presumptions about religion and the latest atrocity in Britain lay in a jumble

07 June 2017 | by Christopher Howse


Less than two months ago, on 11 April, “heartbroken police pals” as the Daily Star put it, “paid their respects to courageous terror victim PC Keith Palmer”. That was the policeman stabbed as he defended the gates to the Palace of Westminster. His funeral was at Southwark Anglican cathedral, where the “church organ filled the silence of the thousands gathered near London Bridge”. Last Saturday night, on the steps down from the bridge to the cathedral, an eyewitness described in The Sun how he saw “a young woman lying motionless on the steps, with blood pouring from her throat”.

Presumptions about religion and the latest terrorist atrocity in Britain lay in a jumble in media reports, largely unexamined but controversial when they were. As the first news came through, many people posted messages on Twitter saying: “Don’t assume this is done by Muslims.” But it was.

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