Tony Blair: Terrorism, extremism point to ‘a problem within Islam’

Former British prime minister Tony Blair. (Photo credit: Patrick McMullan) Former British prime minister Tony Blair wrote Sunday in the … Continued


Former British prime minister Tony Blair. (Photo credit: Patrick McMullan)

Former British prime minister Tony Blair wrote Sunday in the UK’s Daily Mail about what he said was “a problem within Islam” that must be faced in the aftermath of the slaying of British soldier Lee Rigby by men reportedly claimed to be avenging the deaths of Muslims.

Blair, who has launched a religious activist organization called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in the years since he left office, dismissed the argument that religiously-motivated terrorists attacks are the work of a fringe few. He instead pointed to a “exclusivist and reactionary world view” that he detailed as found throughout the Muslim world.

Pointing to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Mali, Pakistan and a number of other countries, Blair wrote:

Instead, the former prime minister called for resources to be allocated to make religion more modern, with an awareness and open-mindedness about other faiths.

Blair’s pointedness about the relationship between Islam and terror mirrors remarks made by President Obama at the National Defense University in May.

Elizabeth Tenety
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  • edismae

    Gee, I wonder what Catholic convert Blair feels is the “problem” in the Catholic Church regarding the decades-to-centuries long institutionalization of child rape and the cover-up thereof ?

    People get real stupid where religion is concerned. But, like Blair, they always think theirs is special.

  • 3vandrum

    We need more leaders like Tony Blair who have the guts to express openly and be honest about this growing problem. Bin Laden is dead and so many other militants have been killed but no end in sight with these terrorist attacks. We are still having this problem in Boston, London and everywhere else. The community and the ‘moderates” within the religion have not done anything other than lip service. It is no excuse and does not make any sense in talking about some Christian extremists, Jewish, Buddhist and the Hindu ones. They are not causing any worldwide terror attacks. Tony Blair is right in stating that “I am afraid this strain is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view about religion and about the interaction between religion and politics that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies”. This is a cultural clash and the inability or lack of willingness of these people to assimilate with the rest of the society in America, Europe and other western countries. I wonder from where these extremists are getting the money to cause these many never ending attacks and what do they want?

  • WmarkW

    Gee, the societal dysfunction at the root of Islam has become too obvious for even Tony Blair and Barack Obama to ignore.

    I look forward to the dat On Faith catches up.

  • A_C

    Pathetic. “Tony Blair Faith Foundation”, LOL, could you make up a more delusional, moronic and self serving scam? Not likely.

    Here’s a dose of reality: All religions are insane. Religion = Delusion. The supernatural does not exist. No miracle has ever occurred. No one has ever risen from the dead, nor ridden a winged horse into the sky. How credulous would one have to be to believe any religious dogma?

  • Rongoklunk

    I’m really impressed with Blair for saying things that needed to be said. But it’s ironic that it was 9/11 that raised Islam’s profile – and the profiles of other religions too. This is why we have “On Faith” pages in newspapers who had space only for Christianity; and not much space either – until 9/11. And Blair’s problem is that he’s religious too. So it’s just a Christian criticizing a different religion when it should be an atheist criticizing all religions, which have been the cause of conflict on and off for centuries. It was 9/11 that brought the so-called “new atheists” out of the closets to say “enough already with these crazy superstitions, before we all get killed.”
    Blair is on the side of the atheists, not the angels. Good for you Mister Blair.

  • KJPeters59

    The radical Islamist view is a minority within the Muslim world. part of the reason for it’s minority status is because the vast majority of the victim’s of this violent strain of Islam have been Muslims. And it is true that every religion, and every political philosophy for that matter, has it’s nutter wing. The main difference for Islam is that the violent strain of this religion has a strong financial backing and has had actual governments and countries to overtly and covertly back their violent vision of a caliphate brought about through submission by force. I live in America and have lived by some large mosques and have found that the majority of those I deal with are just people living out their life and their faith in a peaceful manner. I do not fear Muslims in general. But those who hold the radical view should be feared because they are well armed and are killing people, mostly Muslims, every day.

  • usaka003

    Balderdash, granted that there isn’t any proof that any of the pillars of the main 3 religions in the world existed…what do you believe in? Do you spend all of your time just figuring out what is wrong with the world’s religions and not what is right? Do you believe in just yourself, or people who have proven themselves as useful to you? I am just curious as to what causes your atheism, and what you currently believe in. I know many atheists and have found them to be pretty self-centered individuals not trusting much of anything except for what they themselves do.

  • AMERICANCITIZENSFIRST

    The member states of the E.U. need to update the E.U. immigration law before they lose their real I.D. or otherwise just drop out of the E.U. and be your own country.

  • Rongoklunk

    I can’t speak for Balderdash, but as an atheist I’d like to respond to your comments.
    I believe in science, and commonsense. I think it’s good to believe only that which makes sense.
    I am as sure that god doesn’t exist as I am that Apollo and Zeus don’t exist, or Allah, or Rama or Vishnu.
    The ancients were addicted to making up gods, and made up more than 3500 of them. Think about that. They invented thirty five hundred gods, all across the world. It was an addiction forced on them by their ignorance and fear – of both life and death. In reality God can’t possibly exist. It defies commonsense. And there’s no evidence either. All you got is faith, which is another word for hope.
    Atheists actually regard truth as more important than myth and superstitions. And naturally we regard religion as untrue, and god the same old myth.

  • SODDI

    Blair is an Englishman and a catholic. Maybe he ought to take a good hard look at his country’s and religion’s not too distant past before lecturing others on extremism.

    75% of the major conflicticts worldwide can be directly traced to Britain’s manic messianic colonialism. Why are there extremists in the Middle East? Because T.E. Lawrence put the extremist Wahabist Saud family on the throne in Saudi Arabia, the most oil-rich region on Earth. Why does Iran hate the West so much? Because Britain and the U.S. engineered a coup to oust the prime minister and place the Shah on the throne – all to benefit British Petroleum.

    And the catholic church was in partnership with the Italian Fascists 70 years ago. Come to think of, they haven’t changed much.

  • usaka003

    Rongoclunk, thanks for the responses. It is very rational, your way of thinking. I too believe in science (as an engineer by training it is kinda hard not to be), but I also believe in a particular religion. Skepticism is the rule of the day at work. If it isn’t proven then it didn’t/doesn’t happen. I myself am not sure why that doesn’t carry over into private life, but tbh you would probably just say I need something to comfort me.

    Baldardash, do you keep those two posts in a word doc and just copy and paste them? Seeing the same satirical thing over and over again doesn’t really make me want to see your point.

  • SODDI

    Balderdash used to be ccnl123 and he did the same copypasta until the WaPo put up kill filters so he changes his nym frequently so he can get past those kill filters. He can’t bear it if people ignore him.