As sectarian violence re-erupts in war-torn Iraq, Tony Blair has again justified waging the catastrophic Iraq War. From his interfaith charity, he claims religious extremism is at the root of 21st century conflict – not wars waged by western governments. Why does Blair excuse and continue to advocate military violence while pushing a narrative where religious extremists take all the blame for global strife?
Tony Blair wants the world’s major faiths to play a role in globalisation. But what role? In 2008 he founded his eponymous interfaith foundation to promote “greater knowledge and understanding between people of different faiths,” and advance education in “faith and globalisation”. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is a charity and ostensibly benevolent, and it runs some initiatives that do appear genuinely altruistic. But the former UK Prime Minister’s recurrent war cries to rally western governments to the cause of using military intervention to fight “religious extremism” – which he hypes as the prime source of conflict in the 21st century – reveals an agenda and thinking that employs doubles standards and is not conducive to peace, as it completely ignores the culpability of western governments in starting wars and fomenting extremism. It seems that Blair is taking the same agenda that ushered in an era of war last decade to another arena – that of faith – where he believes western governments should fight both through force and ideology.