Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
2 June 2013updated 26 Sep 2015 11:16am

Blair: “there is a problem within Islam”

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

By New Statesman

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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
“I learn something new on every trip"
How data can help revive our high streets in the age of online shopping
Why digital inclusion is a vital piece of levelling up