Tony Blair’s ‘Interfaith’ Crusade: Using Religious Extremism to Impose a New World Order?

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?

Photo Op” – a satirical anti-war photomontage artwork created by KennardPhillipps

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.

Given the tragic consequences of Tony Blair’s rhetoric and campaigns in the past, which he continues to justify, it is important to take a closer look at the implications of his post-politics “interfaith” crusade.

From Warmonger to Interfaith Luminary

Demonstration at Iraq Inquiry in January 2010 when Tony Blair gave evidence. Source: Stop the War Coalition

Tony Blair is considered by many guilty of war crimes for his role in the invasion of Iraq. After George Bush, he was the most influential political leader calling for the unprovoked “pre-emptive strike” and subsequent invasion of a sovereign country based on the supposed imminent threat posed by non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) – which he told the world Iraq could deploy in just 45 minutes. The invasion and occupation led to the estimated deaths of somewhere between 100,000 and a million people. No WMDs were found and the war did nothing to make western countries safer; rather it inflamed violence, hostility and terrorism, while causing unnecessary deaths and injuries to the soldiers sent to fight. Al Qaeda never existed in Iraq before that war, and now it does. And with renewed violence breaking out, the Iraqi people continue to suffer in the war’s wake.

It is well-known now that the “intelligence” on WMDs used to justify this war of aggression was at best dubious and exaggerated and at worst a complete sham. It is also believed that Tony Blair knew, or should have known, that war would likely throw the country into chaos (the Chilcot inquiry is due to report on the decisions and policies leading up to the invasion, but it continues to be suppressed and key information is expected to be omitted).

Whatever the case, Blair is not apologetic. This month he again defended the decision to go to war in a widely republished essay posted on his website, and once again called for more use of force in Iraq and the Middle East region  to deal with religious extremists. Blair’s narrative ignores how Western Governments have encouraged extremism by waging foreign wars as well as directly supporting Islamist militias, which has gone on at least since the US armed and backed the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1970s, which helped to lay the groundwork for the formation of Al Qaeda. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), responsible for the latest spiralling violence in Iraq, has also been linked to US intelligence – which has been covertly supporting Sunni extremists in Syria to fight the Assad government. Syrian extremists now threaten Iraq. Some believe a deliberate “divide and conquer” strategy is at play here with the US forces backing both sides in Iraq’s current fighting.


Tony Blair and George Bush after a White House press conference in November 2004

Despite the culpability of Western governments in spurring conflict and fomenting extremists, earlier this year Blair claimed religious extremism is at the root of 21-st century conflict and said a “global strategy” was needed to counter it. He also blamed the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan on extremists, saying the coalition campaigns were “thwarted by religious extremism” in an attempt to justify the military campaigns.

Religious extremism, though no doubt a source of conflict in the world, is clearly not the cause of major conflicts waged by great powers in recent history. It is strange to see Blair make this argument, while taking no responsibility for his part, and that of Western powers, in starting wars this century. The 2003 Iraq war was waged by western secular governments against Iraq’s Baathist secular government (which was itself formerly backed by the US government) for political and economic objectives, not religious ones. Blair not only justifies such imperial incursions, but frequently calls for more military intervention. Last year he strongly supported military intervention in Syria and arming rebels there (who now threaten Iraq) and this month he called for military intervention in Iraq to deal with ISIS.

Blair’s solution to the scourge of extremism? More use of force and interfaith “education”. It is for the latter that he founded the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Why does Tony Blair of all people portray religious extremism as the root of conflict today from the pulpit of an interfaith charity he founded and named after himself, while calling for more military intervention?

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation: A Charitable Cover for a Global Agenda?


Bill Clinton with Tony Blair at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation launch. Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

After resigning from politics the previous year, Tony Blair launched his Faith Foundation in 2008 at the Time Warner Center, accompanied by former US President Bill Clinton. Blair said his foundation would concern itself with the world’s six main faiths: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish.

He remarked that, “Globalisation is pushing people together. Interdependence is reality. Peaceful co-existence is essential. If faith becomes a countervailing force, pulling people apart, it becomes destructive and dangerous.”

While indicating he did not want to “engage in a doctrinal inquiry” or “subsume different faiths in one faith of the lowest common denominator” he launched studies into “faith and globalisation” concerned with examining the place of religion in modern society. He also indicated that tackling religious extremism was a major focus of the organisation across multiple faiths and cultures:

“…we will help organisations whose object is to counter extremism and promote reconciliation in matters of religious faith. Though there is much focus, understandably, on extremism associated with the perversion of the proper faith of Islam, there are elements of extremism in every major faith. It is important where people of good faith combat such extremism, that they are supported.”

In spite of his claims the foundation would not seek to “subsume different faiths in one faith”, not everyone is convinced. A common criticism of globalisation is that it homogenises and erodes cultural identities, including religious identities, under a dominant global culture. Some believe this agenda lies behind Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation and its focus on faith and globalisation.

According to Hugh O’Shaughnessy writing in The Guardian in 2011, Tony Blair faced a pushback from his own religion – the Catholic Church – after reportedly making “demands for wholesale changes in Catholic belief and practice”.

O’Shaughnessy also reported of an “attack” on Tony Blair and his Faith Foundation “spearheaded by Professor Michel Schooyans of the Catholic University of Louvain, a specialist in anthropology and political philosophy” who “accused Blair and his wife of supporting a messianic US plan for world domination”. He quoted some of Schooyans’ scathing critique:

“One of the aims of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation will be that of remaking the major religions, just as his colleague Barack Obama will remake global society. With this purpose, the foundation in question will try to expand the ‘new rights’, using the world religions for this end and adapting these for their new duties. The religions will have to be reduced to the same common denominator, which means stripping them of their identity …

This project threatens to set us back to an age in which political power was ascribed the mission of promoting a religious confession, or of changing it. In the case of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, this is also a matter of promoting one and only one religious confession, which a universal, global political power would impose on the entire world.”

Tony Blair Faith & Globalisation Initiative

Tony Blair’s Faith & Globalisation programme runs in 30 universities worldwide. Source: The Office of Tony Blair

Could it be that Tony Blair’s endgame is the formation of a one-world umbrella religion expressed through multiple faiths under one global power, as Professor Michel Schooyans suggests? Could that be part of the reason why Tony Blair is trying so hard to portray “religious extremism” as the root of conflict in the world, while pushing globalisation (backed by use of military force) as the cure?

Let’s take a closer look at Tony Blair’s recent rhetoric about religious extremism.

Portraying Religious Extremism as a Global Existential Enemy

This year Tony Blair’s calls to tackle extremism became more strident. In January 2014 when he published his essay in The Observer claiming extremism would “define the nature of peace and conflict in the first half of the 21st century,” he asserted:

“The battles of this century are less likely to be the product of extreme political ideology – like those of the 20th century – but they could easily be fought around the questions of cultural or religious difference.”

He wrote of the need for a “global strategy” to defeat extremism “not only by arms but by ideas” and suggested this war should be waged by introducing tighter controls over religions themselves and over free speech on the internet:

“…security action alone, even military action, will not deal with the root cause. This extremism comes from a source. It is not innate. It is taught. It is taught sometimes in the formal education system; sometimes in the informal religious schools; sometimes in places of worship and it is promoted by a vast network of internet communications.

Technology, so much the harbinger of opportunity, can also be used by those who want to disseminate lessons of hate and division. Today’s world is connected as never before. This has seen enormous advances… But it comes with the inevitable ability for those who want to get across a message that is extreme to do so. This has to be countered.”

He also wrote of a need to “fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance. In the 21st century, education is a security issue.”

So here we see Tony Blair implying that religious differences must somehow be removed through use of arms and ideas to make way for globalisation, and suggests education toward this aim is a security issue. He does not mince his words when he describes what the purpose of his Faith Foundation really is:

“…the purpose is to change the policy of governments: to start to treat this issue of religious extremism as an issue that is about religion as well as politics, to go to the roots of where a false view of religion is being promulgated, and to make it a major item on the agenda of world leaders to combine effectively to combat it. This is a struggle that is only just beginning.”

Then in April he gave another speech calling for the West to unite with Russia and China to fight islamic extremism, which he called the “biggest threat to global security of the early 21st Century”:

It is interesting to note that Tony Blair is quite open about his desire to influence government policy and present extremism as “an issue that is about religion as well as politics” to be combated jointly by world leaders. But who are these world leaders to decide which views of religion are “false” and which are not?

Will ‘Extremism’ be used as a Catch-all to Quash Rights and Dissent?

Perhaps Tony Blair has already made headway in influencing government policy in the UK itself. The government of David Cameron is also increasingly denouncing extremism in its rhetoric, while advocating authoritarian policies.

shutterstock_193724894 croppedI recently wrote about the authoritarian web filtering infrastructure introduced by the UK government last year under the pretext of blocking pornography. This occurred on the back of an engineered moral panic about pornography; however, the ISP filtering actually blocks a lot more than porn and the system operates without transparency or oversight.

Recently, the government mentioned its desire to block “extremist” and “unsavoury” content (as opposed to illegal content) on the internet. This is dangerous territory. Content that is illegal can be blocked through transparent legal processes. But who will be the faceless judge that decrees what constitutes an “extreme” view and blocks communications before any law is broken or charges are laid?

Back in 2011 after the UK riots, David Cameron announced he was working with intelligence agencies, police and industry to “stop people from communicating” using social media when they were plotting disorder, in a parliamentary speech that won praise from Chinese state media. Now that a murky system of censorship infrastructure is in place in the UK, the Government has a new lever it can pull behind closed doors to filter out any views it deems “extreme”.

I also explained how the UK government was using its supposed difficulties deporting the Islamic extremist Abu Qatada as a pretext for scrapping the Human Rights Act – when in fact that same extremist was an MI5 asset clothed and fed by British intelligence services (this is just one example of shady British intelligence ties to terror suspects). Was the UK government deliberately creating a problem with an extremist as a pretext to curb civil rights? Is this just part of a pattern playing out worldwide on a larger scale, where extremists are used as scapegoats by Western governments to erode rights at home, or bring in draconian laws or give police and intelligence even more powers?

In my view, we should be wary of this rhetoric about extremism, because it may simply be a pretext for a clampdown and assault on everyone’s rights, to justify foreign wars, and to impose a global order. But I also think it will have a significant impact on religious freedom as globalisation advances.

The Endgame for Faith in the New World Order

Tony Blair’s repeated references to religious extremism do seem to suggest he has an agenda to push. But what does he hope to achieve in the realm of religion?

I believe Tony Blair’s efforts fall in line with a wider agenda pushed by global elites. As I see it, this agenda seeks to achieve two main things. Firstly, it creates a false dichotomy where practitioners of the world’s religions are carved up into acceptable and unacceptable categories; either “extreme” or “moderate,” based on their utility and acquiescence to economic and political globalisation led by Western Governments and global institutions. Secondly, it deflects blame from the military actions of Western Governments which stoke the flames of extremism (and sometimes directly support it), in an attempt to validate the ongoing fight against extremism which is portrayed as an existential threat to civilisation – while globalisation is peddled as the cure.

In this way, the fight against extremism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, with Western Governments covertly supporting religious extremism on one hand, while fighting it on the other (in turn fomenting further extremism in response and continuing the cycle) which then gives credence to the narrative that extremism must be fought through force and ideology, and that globalisation is a civilising, saving force.

The consequences of this strategy abroad could be perpetual catastrophic foreign wars. But a more silent consequence may be in the steady erosion of cultural identity and a narrowing of spiritual choices in the West and abroad, through the hollowing-out of major religions to make them more “integrated” to serve under the aegis of globalisation. These co-opted faiths would then help to bring the populations they service into line as the economic and political phalanx of globalisation advances. Meanwhile, beliefs and practices that do not integrate well with this new world order will be increasingly seen as outdated obstacles to progress, or tarred as “extremist” – a manoeuvre helped by foreign policies fuelling violent extremism, with the violent religious fanatics fought in foreign wars reflecting poorly on spirituality in general, and its place in the world today. In a global climate where faith-based groups and cultures are increasingly seen as “backward,” world faiths will likely feel greater pressure to “integrate” into a sterile global system to survive and avoid being left behind. In such an environment where even long-established traditional faiths find it difficult to be accommodated, alternative forms of spirituality will find it even more difficult to be accepted and survive.

The long-term aim may ultimately be to establish a global economic and cultural order advanced by the world’s elite as the superior moral authority worldwide, rendering spiritual reverence either subservient to it or irrelevant, excluding spiritual views which do not integrate with it.

Concluding Remarks

There is undoubtedly some truth in Tony Blair’s claim that extremism is a cause of 21st century conflict. But it is certainly not the only cause. His selective application of the “extremist” label completely leaves out and excuses extreme and violent military actions by western powers. Extremism can be defined as imposing one’s belief, ideology, or worldview forcefully to the detriment of others. Invading and occupying a country on the basis of a false claim and causing countless deaths – and continuing to justify such intervention and calling for more in the name of “democracy” or whatever cause – surely meets the definition of an “extremist” position. If Tony Blair really wants to understand and counter extremism in the world, he should also look at addressing, not encouraging, extreme military policies carried out by western governments.

Religious extremism is a problem in the world, but shifting all blame onto it for global conflict while ignoring and advancing extreme political and military policies serves a global agenda that has grave consequences, both for world peace, and for religious and spiritual freedom.

About Matthew Osmund

Matthew Osmund is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, an open mind and a keen interest in defending personal freedom and uncovering the truth. He's been exploring spirituality and consciousness for 10 years and writes at The Conscious Reporter about issues that affect and suppress human potential, consciousness, alternative beliefs, and the right to free expression of spirituality in the world.


  1. Dear All
    I’ve recently published a booklet which I called Antigravity Propulsion Free Energy and Other Useful. Basically it is a theory of everything, for a child to understand. The Force Carrier I describe ie Linda is the All seeing eye. The symbol is an eye it tells you to look, the folds of skin around the eye become the force carrier. The rest follows. Im just rattling off an extra couple of booklets, about politics banking immigration and get the info out there in case the powers that be aren’t so friendly, but basically If man kind knows the truth they will be set free. You will have paradise on earth. I will ultimately round up with a final book starting possibly with the declaration of independence, the rest will follow.
    Im enlightened enough now for my own satisfaction, but I feel the world should know. Everything I write is intended for a child to understand.
    I tried publishing the first book with the title Theory of Everything and it was Suppressed
    Kind Regards

  2. Very good article that connects some of the dots.
    Unfortunately the construction of the New World Order using Hegelian dialectic and divide and conquer strategies is an enormous subject and this is but one small aspect.
    The UN’s agenda 21 is very much a blueprint as well and so many of the so called “just causes” being used to undermine our faith, homogeneity and culture, sovereignty and wealth from war in the middle east and Ukraine, the rise of terrorism, mass immigration to global warming policies and deindustrialisation, they are all based on problem reaction solution and each time it is they who cause the problem and then offer the solution and each time that solution is more globalisation and authoritarianism.

    Iraq was a premeditated war and there was no exit plan because Iraq was never intended to be built up, it was meant to become the failed state and breeding ground for terrorists it is now. They then use these terrorists as their proxy armies to overthrow Gadaffi and try to overthrow Assad. The terrible migration crisis can all be traced back tot eh Iraq war and supporting of these terrorists. Indeed tens of thousands of them are trafficked through Libya under the watch of IS the re-branded Al Qaeda.

    Blair is undoubtedly evil, a traitor to his country, his people, his religion and humanity as a whole, yet he is a mere minion, a puppet of the “strong forces”, as he put in 2008, behind globalisation and the New World Order.

    We are not many engineered wars and/or terrorist attacks and/or financial crisis away from the beginning of a very dark age for humanity as global governance is offered as the answer to our prayers.
    Even now the solution to every domestic issue is less individualism, less freedom and more collectivism, more censorship and the solution to every international issue is more globalisation, more multiculturism, less sovereignty, less diversity of culture.

    All we can do is forewarn, expose the lies and false narrative and show where the true extremism lies.
    Thank you for such a well written and well researched article – the only tragedy is so few people will have read it and understood its implications.

  3. Very well researched, great work Matthew. I really hope that we can make a difference by speaking out against this evil activity. People really need to know.

  4. The principles and message of this interfaith understanding and acceptance that Blair leads sounds good to me, at least as a message. However, the fact that it is lead by a war criminal whose actions are not aligned with any religious dogma is quite controversial. And after reading your article it becomes clear that there is a hidden agenda behind it.

    What kind of authority does Mr Blair have to unite religions? Who is really going to listen to him from the people that lost their family members in the war he advocated?

    • It would be great if Mr Blair genuinely seeks to achieve the principles outlined in his Faith Foundation. But he keeps on calling for more military intervention, which is not going to increase peace and harmony between people.

  5. A very good piece of investigative journalism Matt!

    We are getting very close to dissident satire being banned by dictators.
    The Hunt for Tony Blair is an excellent comic satire on Blair that is full of detail.

    It’s funny and sad at the same time, to think such clever psychopaths at large get away with so much.

  6. Tony Blair is a person devoid of any compassion, human intelligence, understanding, modesty, awareness of reality, decency….
    How he was chosen to be a “peace envoy” is an indication of how low we have sunk as an “international community”. If he is not indicted as a war criminal he should hide away and never be allowed in public again.

  7. No doubt that religious extremism is a problem, but the situation in the Middle East today is a direct result of years and years of Western interference, antagonism and occupation. How extreme is it to invade another country because you suspect they might have WMDs and then not find anything?

    I think Blair definitely has an agenda going against free choice in spirituality, and I agree that it looks like the aim is to erode and water down the religions that will eventually become the only ‘acceptable’ options under a global hierarchy.

    Thanks for exposing all this; definitely want to keep an eye on how this narrative develops.

  8. Sounds like a pretty full on agenda. I wonder at what point views on religious extremism become extremist themselves, particularly as Blair being Catholic wouldn’t exactly have an unbiased perspective on the direction the organisation should take I imagine.

    “It is important where people of good faith combat such extremism, that they are supported.” – this quote sounds like it could open the door for all sorts of nasty stuff, say for instance the persecution of spiritual minorities by a government and religion backed anti-cult movement.

    I also wonder whether part of this agenda would be to stop small spiritual groups from meeting and to filter everyone with spiritual yearnings towards a watered down type of church or temple as Jenny mentioned below.

  9. Thanks for this Matthew. I am pretty embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about this before.

  10. Thanks for highlighting this, Matthew. This quote you mentioned really stood out to me:

    “The religions will have to be reduced to the same common denominator, which means stripping them of their identity …

    Recently, I’ve been coming across this “one world religion” plan emerging more and more and being “voluntarily” implemented by various religious organizations. One clear example I’ve seen of this path towards a one world religion is the St. John the Divine Cathedral in NY: and — a very eerie place, filled with strange seemingly prophetic art carved into its walls and decorative pillars. Some of the artwork even displays what looks like a plan for the destruction of the social order and way of life as we know it, and then the emergence of a new “Christ” figure and a new way of life…

    What I find more interesting is that the church has received full UN accreditation and is backed by influential global power figures like John D. Rockefeller, Pope John XXIII, JP Morgan, International Planned Parenthood, the Dalai Lama, etc., and it is currently mixing all kinds of traditions into a new version of religion (they call it The Temple of Understanding – a bit like The Ministry of Truth and Justice from 1984, isn’t it?). It’s being transformed from a Christian one into a world-wide religious church, with rituals and ceremonies from all around the world already being celebrated and held there. Normally, I would view that as a good thing and can see why people are accepting the notion with gladness – after all, why not celebrate the unity amongst all religions and traditions? But seeing what I see in the structure of the building (i.e. the symbols and messages built into it and the people supporting and thereby guiding the development of the church), I just see alarm bells. It seems like it is trying to steer people, baby steps at a time, into a different global religion, while adding elements of its own into the mix. For instance, amongst the many rituals being performed at the church, there is a ritual of the blessing of the bicycles (no joke). By looking at it in pictures, you can see huge crowds attending and participating in the blessing. To me it is a sign of mundane and watered-down practices infiltrating what was once meant to be a spiritual place of gathering.

    So while esoteric spirituality is being censored from the internet and banned in various parts of the world bit by bit, those in power are having people instead attend a bicycle blessing at a church as a spiritual event… Not to mention that this is happening while they themselves are partaking in occult rituals of their own, away from public view. St. John the Divine Cathedral is just one example of something I suspect we’ll be seeing more and more around the world with the help of the likes of Mr. Blair.

    Leaving it up to the government to decide what is “extremist” and what is “unsavoury” is very certainly dangerous territory and is a surefire way to strip away people’s free will and rights. We’ve already seen where these types of measures end up time and time again, and I hope that more people are able to see what is actually going on here.

    • Seems like a lot of the same people are behind social engineering all over society. I found out recently that the Rockefellers played a big role in creating our current education system which a lot of people think kills creativity, and Bill Gates who served on the board of Planned Parenthood is also introducing new schooling measures called the Common Core curriculum which seem to lead towards obedience to the government and further dumbing down of children..

      Seems like there might be a multipronged attack going on.

    • I hope that people wake up to this information. Clearly evil. Thanks Jenny.

    • This is really creepy, thanks for sharing it Jenny! “Blessing of the bicycles” – what a mockery. I can’t quite see regular Christians, Muslims or Hindus buying into this though, at least not yet. But these shadowy powers are definitely trying to bring up a new generation that most likely won’t mind it that much…

  11. I really don’t trust Tony Blair or any of these guys responsible for the Iraq war. How any of them could play a positive role in global interfaith understanding is beyond me. I suspect that homogenised, mainstream, non-esoteric (“non-extremist”?), major religions only, are the key goals for Tony Blair with this foundation he runs.

  12. Bring ON the Pax Britmania, epitomized in Toady Blare’s Hellfie! But the immoral Holier-than-thou globalized ‘faith’ initiative is nothing more than “modernized” conquistadoring by the burning Bush PNAC Attackers!

  13. A good expose Matthew, he seems to be quite a hypocrite and even just simply (and disturbingly) pathological.

    I think another driver of the perpetuation of conflict in the middle east is helping the big oil barons by creating scarcity so as to drive up prices and keep the petrodollar going.

    But this push to homogenise religion worldwide is perhaps an even bigger issue as it could become a vehicle through which the development of spiritual consciousness through benevolent esoteric practices can be demonised and squashed thereby enslaving humanity at a fundamental level. Another part of the war on consciousness.

  14. Thanks Matthew for a great article.

    It shows how much an ‘agenda’ can run contrary to true and honest interaction between people. The ‘selfie’ that Mr Blair took (of himself) amidst explosion and destruction clearly indicates much about himself and only reveals where his true interests lie.

    • Hi Craig,

      I should clarify that the feature image is not actually a real scene. It is a satirical antiwar photomontage artwork created in 2005. It combines a selfie Blair took posing with Navy cadets in the 2005 election campaign, with the background of burning oilfields in the Iraq war he waged. You can read about it here.

      I’ve adjusted the caption to make that clearer now.

      As an iconic piece of graphical artwork it sums up the Iraq invasion in ways words can’t.

      • Its really an excellent photo nonetheless – satire and humor can reveal bigger unspoken truths sometimes quicker and more comfortably than harsh reality.