Islamist Ideology is ‘Dangerous, Corrosive’, ‘Incompatible With Modern World’: Tony Blair

Former British Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned starkly of a growing threat to the West from a “radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology,” he says is “de-stabilising communities and even nations”.

Former British Labour PM Tony Blair at a Bloomberg conference speaking on the dangers of Islam to the West

Former British Labour PM Tony Blair at a Bloomberg conference speaking on the dangers of Islam to the West

With 40 million Muslims now settled in Europe and 6 million in France alone, the onetime British PM warns the West of the danger of closing its eyes to an Islamic threat rooted on the continent.

Blair — widely detested in his own country for the unstinting support he gave to former  US President George Bush’s unpopular war in Iraq — was delivering his speech at Bloomberg’s London offices April 23 at a time of heightened tension in France between Islamic extremists and French Jews.

The remark that has drawn most attention from the media was this one: ‘At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message. The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is de-stabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.’

Top Quotes:
“The second thing is that there is a deep desire to separate the political ideology represented by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood from the actions of extremists including acts of terrorism. This stems from a completely laudable sense that we must always distinguish between those who violate the law and those we simply disagree with.


“But laudable though the motives are, which lead us to this distinction, if we’re not careful, they also blind us to the fact that the ideology itself is nonetheless dangerous and corrosive; and cannot and should not be treated as a conventional political debate between two opposing views of how society should be governed.


“The Muslim population in Europe is now over 40m and growing. The Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations are increasingly active and they operate without much investigation or constraint. Recent controversy over schools in Birmingham (and similar allegations in France) show heightened levels of concern about Islamist penetration of our own societies.


“At this point it must again be emphasised: it is not Islam itself that gives rise to this ideology. It is an interpretation of Islam, actually a perversion of it which many Muslims abhor. There used to be such interpretations of Christianity which took us years to eradicate from our mainstream politics.


“The reason that this ideology is dangerous is that its implementation is incompatible with the modern world – politically, socially, and economically. Why? Because the way the modern world works is through connectivity. Its essential nature is pluralist. It favours the open-minded. Modern economies work through creativity and connections. Democracy cannot function except as a way of thinking as well as voting. You put your view; you may lose; you try to win next time; or you win but you accept that you may lose next time.


“That is not the way that the Islamist ideology works. It is not about a competing view of how society or politics should be governed within a common space where you accept other views are equally valid. It is exclusivist in nature. The ultimate goal is not a society which someone else can change after winning an election. It is a society of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable.


“Because the West is so completely unfamiliar with such an ideology –though actually the experience of revolutionary communism or fascism should resonate with older generations – we can’t really see the danger properly. We feel almost that if we identify it in these terms, we’re being anti-Muslim, a sentiment on which the Islamists cleverly play.


“Right now in the Middle East, this is the battle being waged. Of course in each country, it arises in a different form. But in each case, take out the extremist views around religion, and each conflict or challenge becomes infinitely more manageable. This is where, even though at one level the ideology coming out of Shia Iran and that of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood may seem to be different, in reality they amount to the same thing with the same effect – the holding back of the proper political, social and economic advance of the country.

The full transcript can be read here.

A related report published  April 25, 2014 and written by Marc Goetzmann serves to underline current religious tensions in France:

Passover in Paris, and the Slow Destruction of French Social Harmony
“Last week, the Jewish celebration of the Passover holiday rekindled tensions that have recently divided Jewish and Muslim communities in Paris. Public celebration elicited visible hostility in the streets of the 19tharrondissement, a neighborhood that contains one of the largest Jewish communities in France. Following a period abroad in New York, the neighborhood has recently become my home as well.

“This odd Northeastern section of Paris is characterized by its proximity to Boulevard Périphérique, the ring road that acts as the boundary between the city proper and the suburbs beyond, and by its renovated Canal de l’Ourcq, which is frequented equally by athletic runners and strolling families. Though it is far from my comfort zone on the opposite side of the capital, the neighborhood attracted me with its beauty, especially the canals and the Parc de la Villette.

“To me, this section of the city seemed to encapsulate the so-called “diversity” of Parisian communities in a single neighborhood. The area is lively yet family-friendly. It is secluded from the madness of the city center yet active in its own right. It is not overly gentrified. Residents vary greatly in age and income level.

“The neighborhood seemed to exude the social harmony that is desperately lacking in French society at large. From my outside perspective, I truly believed it to be a living example of that long lost dream. That is until last week.

“As I returned home the other day, I passed by a Synagogue where worshipers gathered to celebrate Passover. I have to confess that I was unaware of these celebrations and their importance in Jewish culture. My eyes merely stopped for a second to examine the great crowd of men dressed-up in black suits wearing kippahs.

“My interest grew when I noticed a group of cops anxiously walking around the entrance of the building. A couple meters away from the Synagogue, I was passing by a small bar, when I heard someone say angrily, “When I see them all together like that, I understand why Merah took a gun to shoot them all.” It took me a few seconds to process these words. My blood froze in my veins. For those who may have missed the reference, in March 2012 Mohammed Merah, a young French Muslim, shocked the nation in a series of attacks in the southern city of Toulouse. Over several violent episodes, Merah shot and killed three soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren, and a Rabbi, before being killed by local police.”


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5 Responses to Islamist Ideology is ‘Dangerous, Corrosive’, ‘Incompatible With Modern World’: Tony Blair

  1. Pingback: Islamist Ideology is 'Dangerous, Corrosive', 'I...

  2. didisaythataloud April 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I would have thought there is as much if not more danger from people like Tony Blair adding to fear-mongering and xenophobia in the west. Not helpful, really.

  3. philipsmeeton April 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

    About Islam and to quote Churchill- you cannot fool all of the people all of the time-. What Islam does is so obvious that people are bound to notice, sooner or later. The Israelis, on the pointed end of the stick, have mostly understood it. Which has made them public enemy number one to the Left.

  4. philipsmeeton April 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

    -‘At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message.-

    Blair serves up the established misconception that Islam is not to blame, every Islamist and most Muslims would disagree, the essence of Islam, it’s true message is wage war against the enemy until they submit to Islam. And we are the enemy.

  5. Pingback: Does France Have a Problem? Here is Paris During a pro-Hamas Rally, Judge for Yourselves | FrenchNewsOnline

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