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Blair: "there is a problem within Islam"

Tony Blair writes in the Mail about the implications of the Woolwich attacks.

New Statesman
Photograph: Getty Images

Writing in today's Mail on Sunday, Tony Blair talked about the "profound and dangerous" ideology behind the Woolwich terror attacks. He said that radical beliefs within Islam are “wider and deeper” than we previously suspected, and that we are "deluding ourselves" if we believe that we can prevent further attacks by what we can do in Britain, with measures like the Prevent programme in local communities and new government policies.

He said "So I understand the desire to look at this world and explain it by reference to local grievances, economic alienation and of course ‘crazy people’. But are we really going to examine it and find no common thread, nothing that joins these dots, no sense of an ideology driving or at least exacerbating it all?

“There is a problem within Islam – from the adherents of an ideology which is a strain within Islam. We have to put it on the table and be honest about it... I am afraid this strain is not the province of a few extremists.”

This comes amid a row over the Government’s Communications Data Bill. On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Lord West, former security minister, said Nick Clegg had put political point scoring ahead of the implocations of the bill “He has had some problems with political points and this is a political point. And I don’t believe he’s really taken full cognisance of what the security implications really are,” he said.