Tony Blair continues to call for his “alliance of moderation” in the Islamic world, confident that Muslims will turn away from Iran’s “warped and wrongheaded misinterpretation of Islam” and join Britain in a war against the global jihad. And of course, he may get some positive response from some quarters who see common cause with Britain as something to their advantage; but it will be very interesting to see what kind of response his appeal on the basis of pure and true Islam will get — for that is exactly the same kind of appeal that the jihadists use. Both Blair and the mujahedin claim to be representing and fighting for true Islam — Blair, of course, as a non-Muslim — and calling for support on that basis. It will be interesting to see which appeal proves more effective.
“Tony Blair: ‘Wake Up’ to Iran’s Extremism,” from AP, with thanks to Tommy:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrapped up a Middle East tour Wednesday with a blunt speech warning that the world faces a monumental struggle between moderates and extremists – and labeling Iran the main obstacle to hopes for peace.
In an address to business leaders and journalists in Dubai, Blair said combating extremism and the violence it foments was the greatest challenge of the 21st century. He said the lesson he had drawn from his five-day Mideast trip was “startlingly real, clear and menacing.”
“There is a monumental struggle going on worldwide between those who believe in democracy and moderation, and forces of reaction and extremism,” Blair said.
“We have to wake up. These forces of extremism – based on a warped and wrongheaded misinterpretation of Islam – aren’t fighting a conventional war. But they are fighting one, against us – and us is not just the West, still less simply America and its allies,” Blair said.
“We must therefore mobilize our alliance of moderation in the region and outside of it to defeat the extremists.”
Blair has repeated that message throughout his trip – in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territories and the United Arab Emirates.