Jim Sillars: Blair stokes flames of jihad

Tony Blair wants to mould religious policies in the Middle East to the Western world's views. Picture: Getty
Tony Blair wants to mould religious policies in the Middle East to the Western world's views. Picture: Getty
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There’s a rich fool running round the world urging a Western Jihad in the Middle East. He is described as “demented” by Patrick Cockburn, a distinguished journalist who knows the region.

He’s got a record of getting it wrong, very wrong, costing lots of lives, and leaving a legacy of havoc. He has to be stopped. His name is Tony Blair.

In what was billed as a major speech, Blair set out to persuade the Western powers to engage in an unremitting struggle to conquer an enemy in the realm of Islam, and mould that religion to our view of the world. In short, the West must wage its own jihad against the Islamist jihadis.

Blair claims that at the “root” of the Middle East crisis is “a radicalising and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message”, and that we must engage in an “unambiguous struggle” on the side of those “with a modern view of the Middle East” and against those who “want to impose an ideology born out of a belief that there is one proper religion and proper view of it, and this should, exclusively, determine the nature of society and political economy”. He urges the West to take sides, to engage, to intervene, noting that this can come “at a cost”. We know to our cost, as do the Iraqis, what he means by “cost”.

Those in Blair’s eyes who have a modern view of the Middle East includes the military government of Egypt which deposed a democratically elected president and recently sentenced 600 opponents from the Muslim Brotherhood to death. Blair excuses this by condemning the Brotherhood as having been a bad government and seeking to take over the institutions of the country – precisely the mandate it sought and got in the first fair and free elections the Egyptians have ever had. This new Western would-be jihadi leader seems oblivious to the reasons why the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections – because while the corrupt Mubarak regime, and its supporting generals, robbed the country blind, the Brotherhood spent years defending and feeding the poor in Egypt.

Blair wants us to line up with “Jordan or the Gulf where they’re promoting the values of religious tolerance and open, rule-based economies, or taking on the forces of reaction in the shape of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood”. This is where this man really shows himself in the grip of the jihadi mentality, where intelligence is defeated by blind stupid dogma that bears no relation to reality.

His claim that Jordan and the Gulf states are paragons of virtue, promoting religious tolerance and rules-based economies, is worthy of a certificate of insanity. “Honour killings” are regular in Jordan. Just try holding an open religious Christian ceremony in Wahibi-dominated Saudi Arabia, a place where the Al Saud ruling family owns the country and, when required to defend its own interests, will rig the economy accordingly.

Or try being one of the majority Shia in Bahrain, where doctors and nurses are doing 15 years in jail for tending to injured people the minority Sunni rulers don’t like. Or try being a Third World worker in Qatar building the 2020 football World Cup stadiums, with no health and safety, intolerable living conditions and slave labour wages. In all of them, whatever is written down as the law, it is only obeyed as long it does not conflict with the ruling groups’ interest. When it does, the law is meaningless.

Blair, and his pal George W Bush, pictured, have done more to stoke the fires of radical Islam than any others in this world, and proved to be the best recruiting agents al-Qaida and its offshoots have. With his defence of the Egyptian military coup, and his support for the decidedly undemocratic, corrupt regimes of the Gulf and Jordan he is telling the Islamic community of the Middle East that when their elections don’t go the way we want, they will be nullified and the old regimes re-installed. So, as the Muslim Brotherhood and others are bound to conclude, if democracy is denied them, they have nothing left but to use violence.

The Blair/Bush invasion of Iraq was a disaster from which, it would appear, Blair has learnt nothing. This man remains a danger to us all.

Thank you everyone

May I take this opportunity to thank the many people who have written to express their regret at the death of Margo. Our family has been overwhelmed by cards and letters; and it has been of some comfort, especially to our grandchildren, to learn how much their Grandma was loved and respected.

SHE’S NO MONSTER

Nessie has reappeared, just in time for the Highland tourist season. Why we label her a monster when she is so helpful I cannot understand.