Britain's foreign policy cannot be used as a justification for terrorism, and is not "anti-Islamic", a Foreign Office minister said on Thursday.
Lord David Triesman said in a statement that fundamentalists were trying to use Britain's foreign policy to "justify the unjustifiable" and it would be a "dreadful mistake" to allow it to be influenced by their actions.
Triesman said, "There will always be controversial aspects of British foreign policy, which extremists can use as ammunition to fuel hatred."
More troubling than that, however, according to Triesman was "others' willingness to accept these justifications."
"British foreign policy is not 'anti-Islamic'. We condemn the killing of civilians, whether they are targeted by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv, or caught up in Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip or Lebanon."
Defending Britain's policy of not calling for an immediate ceasefire, and instead calling for a solution that would promote a longer-term peace, Triesman continued: "The UK pushed hard for a sustainable ceasefire because the people of Lebanon and Israel deserve the real peace of a lasting solution and not just a temporary, fragile reprieve."
In Triesman's view, no quarrel over foreign policy could ever justify terrorism.
"Everyone has the right to question UK foreign policy and the freedom to debate, discuss and disagree."
"There is never a need, or excuse, to resort to violence."