CHARLOTTE, NC, April 29, 2014 – The former prime minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, has had an epiphany. It may be a little late, but it is a hugely welcome realization by a noteworthy politician that the world has a major problem with Islam.
Speaking out about radical Islam in a speech last week at Bloomberg’s London office and again on Sunday on “Meet the Press” hosted by David Gregory, Blair has finally come around to the idea that Islam, not the West, is the problem. That is a 180-degree reversal of his ideas back when the U.S. and Great Britain were drudging up support against Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
Gregory, on the other hand, displayed his ignorance of the situation by spouting the standard media position that it was the invasion of Iraq back in 2003 that is partly responsible for the increase in global terrorism.
“Isn’t the legacy of your leadership, and that of President Bush, in part responsible for the reality today?” asked Gregory, using the uninformed idea that Western intervention in Iraq somehow increased the hatred of Islamists around the world.
Mr. Gregory has apparently forgotten that the World Trade Center was attacked in the mid-90s and again in 2001. Both events preceded the invasion of Iraq, not to mention other incidents such as the USS Cole and Khobar Towers to mention two.
The error in Gregory’s analysis lies in the fact that hatred is hatred which pervades Islam as a core belief in the religion. It is not possible for Islamic radicals to hate any more than they already do or to be further incited by individual actions. Jihad is an instrumental feature of Islam and the goal of Muslim dominance in the world will exist regardless of what the infidels do or do not do. The only catalyst is Islam itself.
While it is true that both Blair and Bush were extremely careful with their words to state specifically that “we are not at war with Islam.” That was not true then, nor is it true now, but, that said, Blair has seemingly, and refreshingly, changed his mind.
With typical British restraint, Blair adamantly responded to Gregory saying, “It’s not coming from us. It’s coming from this ideology, and we aren’t going to defeat it until we liberate ourselves from the attitude that somehow we’re the cause of it.”
Writing for Breitbart News, James Delingpole was among the first to recognize Blair’s change of tone citing two important examples by the ex-prime minister. First, discussing Western commentators, such as Gregory, Blair said at Bloomberg, “They go to extraordinary lengths to say why, in every individual case, there are multiple reasons for understanding that this is not really about Islam, it is not really about religion; there are local or historic reasons which explain what is happening. There is a wish to eliminate the obvious common factor in a way that is almost willful.”
“The second thing,” Blair added, “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.”
To which Delingpole endorsed Blair’s words. “How true! How brave! How totally unlike the politically correct pabulum we’re fed by most politicians! (And how very unlike, for example, Barack Obama’s infamous capitulation speech in Cairo a few years back).”
Still defending his newfound position to David Gregory, Blair noted that, “If it were the case, for example, that the reason why they were engaged in terrorism in Iraq was because of the presence of American troops or British troops, you would expect when we got out, the terrorism would stop. It doesn’t. And it doesn’t because it’s not coming from us.”
Tony Blair’s candor is rare among major political figures today. It is refreshing that someone of his stature has at long last realized the true nature of the enemy we face with Islam.
Let us sincerely hope that other world leaders are paying attention and will follow suit.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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