COMMENT- Blair absolves responsibility of creating an unsafer world, again

By Majed Iqbal- Tony Blair has continued to argue his case that Radical Islam or extremist Religious interpretation as he recently put it, is the fundamental cause for world conflicts.

Blairs comments appeared in the Observer Newspaper in reference to the conflict in Syria and its spillover in neighbouring countries. Blair said

“There is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith.”

Blair advocated that interfaith work was the best way forward to create greater understanding between faiths, especially in the Middle East which he described as the ‘Centre of Islam’

“The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant toward those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance. In the 21st century, education is a security issue.”

Blair in the height of his political career waged two wars in the Muslim World, furthermore legitimising the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Over a decades later, Blair, in an evangelical manner, confined of his spiritual path, is now lecturing the world on Peace whilst simultaneously being investigated in an inquiry over the legality of the Iraq war.

Since leaving office of Prime Minister for Britain, Blair has pursued a role as ‘Peace Envoy’ for the Middle East and has established a body which consults governments on policy. In Blair’s words, his foundation’s activity is aimed at

“Changing the policy of governments: to start to treat this issue of religious extremism as an issue that is about religion as well as politics, to go to the roots of where a false view of religion is being promulgated, and to make it a major item on the agenda of world leaders to combine effectively to combat it” he said. “This is a struggle that is only just beginning.”

The war in Syria has concerned Western Governments in the last year as they see an increased presence of a call for Islamic Politics for a newly emerging Syria. Opposition groups fighting the Assad regime have made their ambitions clear of removing the regime and establishing Islamic rule which does not sit well with Western Governments, who have tried to steer the civil war by supporting the Syrian National Coalition which is active outside of the country and has minimal support on the grassroots in Syria.

Blair’s latest comments are simply a re-iteration of what many in the Capitals of Western Governments have already aired, which simply is the repeated narrative of shifting the blame of world issues onto the bogeyman of ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’. Concentrated efforts have been made to create a rift within the Muslim world by dividing Muslims into ‘moderate’ and extremist’ camps. This then allows Governments to pin the blame of many Political hotspots in the world today on ‘Extremist Islam’. In their endeavours they have used gullible and insincere Muslim groups to achieve this agenda, in the process maligning legitimate grievances of Muslims as false and clamping down on legitimate Political dissent across the Muslim world for calls of a caliphate.

In 2005, after the 7/7 bombings, Blair use the opportunity to use this narrative to justify draconian measures against the Muslim community in the UK which had an international impact in many parts of the Muslim world. In a speech delivered after 7/7 at the Labour Party conference he said

“This is the battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas. Not only what they do but what they think and the thinking they would impose on others.”

“They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries, irrespective of the wishes of people and government; the establishment of effectively Taleban states and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one caliphate of all Muslim nations.”

Blair was clear in 2005 as he is now that the Muslim world is going through a change which needs to be managed to avoid the emergence of a Caliphate. These are the efforts we see now employed by Western Governments to halt this growing Political call in conflict ones like Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and what occurred in the form of revolutions in the Arab Spring.

Politicians such as Blair continue to insult the intelligence of the average individual with the  belief that the ‘West is Best’ with its ideals of Democracy and Freedom as the benchmark upon which such illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were sold to the world.; that Middle Eastern Countries are brutal dictatorships  that support terrorism and needed to begin the process of Democratisation, through the barrel of a gun. Hundreds of thousands have died in the Military campaigns and occupations thereafter.

Why doesn’t Tony Blair look inward and question Secular ideals as the root cause of many Political Problems in the world today? Secularism which divorces morality, any link to the afterlife and limits the actions on a balancing scale of what is beneficial and not measured by Financial value are the real radicalising ideas that need to be challenged. These ideals put profit before people, Support dictatorships instead of the will of the people, enslave nations through debt, actively boast of the superiority of Western civilisation over any other and spread ideas through ‘Gunboat Democracy’.

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