Tony Blair calls for mobilization against religious extremists

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Tony Blair, Former British Prime Minister

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday called for mobilization to counter religious extremism which fuels terrorism.

Mr. Blair, who now runs the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, spoke at a meeting of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee on Thursday.

He said the world is facing "a scourge that has seen innocent lives taken, communities scarred and nations destabilized."

Mr. Blair pointed out that extremists use and exploit political grievances to plant what he called, the seeds of hate in "the soil of ignorance, of warped thinking producing warped minds."

"We will not deal with the root causes of terrorism unless we confront this. That is why I would say that in the 21st century education is a security issue and not any education but education specifically that opens young minds to the other, those who are culturally and religiously different and shows them that the only future that works is the one in which people are respected as equals whatever their faith or their culture. You might call it to see myself in you. A concept of peaceful coexistence which should be our aim". (29")

Mr. Blair said that terrorism is most frequently linked "to extreme views found in those who claim to follow Islam, but in truth there are also extremist acts perpetrated against Muslims because of their faith."

He added that "all the major religions today have fanatic elements that disfigure the true nature of their faith whether Christians, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists."

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’22″


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