13 September 2018

Tony Blair calls for battle of ideas against Islamists

Tony Blair has accused pressure groups such as Cage and Mend of trying to drive a wedge between Muslim communities and the government by portraying the British state as a “hostile” force.

The former prime minister said that Britain needed to engage in a “battle of ideas” against groups that he claimed were intent on undermining Prevent, the government’s anti-extremism strategy, and which had campaigned against the appointment of the anti-extremism commissioner, Sara Khan.

Mr Blair said that it was important to combat groups that promoted extremist ideas, even though they were not promoting violence. However, he warned that people in western societies, including Britain, were “bullied into accepting that if you’re attacking Islamism you’re attacking Islam and you’ve got to resist this”. [The Times (£)] Read more