Tony Blur

Tony+Blair

Lors d’un discours pour Bloomberg, le 23 avril dernier, l’ancien Premier ministre Tony Blair a appelé les Occidentaux à mettre de côté leurs désaccords en ce qui concerne les événements en Ukraine pour se concentrer ensemble sur la lutte contre l’extrémisme musulman, qu’il considère comme la « menace majeure pour la sécurité internationale au XXIe siècle ».

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave on April 23th a speech about the supposedly growing threat of Islamism. He claims that western countries should pay fast and universal attention to the Middle East as well as North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Blair confused ‘Muslim’ with ‘Islamist’ and failed to dispel the most common misconceptions about Islam – especially when he accused Muslim Brotherhood governments of systematically killing tradition, and yet he was also the one who said that “there is no contradiction between being a Muslim and being a British citizen” at a meeting in Downing Street with Muslim community leaders.

Yet, he clearly urges western countries to try and find a solution for the Ukraine crisis as soon as possible so as to focus on the so-called “Threat of radical Islam”, which “is destabilizing communities and even nations”. Unfortunately, he is thus merely feeding the cliché about him as obdurate Catholic believer and rich businessman.

To face this common enemy, the former Prime Minister wished all Western countries would put aside their political differences and get closer to Russia and China. But this wish is more than controversial and somewhat paradoxical. Indeed, the differences between Europe and China concern the question of human rights and are justified. Before his speech Tony Blair did an interview with the BBC in which he denounced the Western powers’ nonintervention in Syria. But Russia had then made any international intervention difficult by bringing military support to Bashar El Assad.

Furthermore, the call for a rapprochement with Russia, in the current context of the Ukrainian crisis -Russia is accused of breaking international law-, is in contradiction with David Cameron’s position. Britain’s current Prime Minister was one of the first to support the idea of taking sanctions against Russia during the annexation of Crimea, and now advocates pacifism. In a phone conversation on April 30th, David Cameron and Vladimir Putin agreed the end of the crisis “can be reached only in a pacific way“.

Gabrielle BENZIMRA & Louis-Van VU NGOC

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