Tony Blair claims support for Isis stretches 'deep into parts of Muslim societies'

'This security threat is at our door,' former PM says

Mollie Goodfellow
Friday 04 December 2015 19:15
Tony Blair was speaking at the Kissinger Lectures in Washington
Tony Blair was speaking at the Kissinger Lectures in Washington

Support for Isis stretches "deep into parts of Muslim societies", Tony Blair has claimed.

In a speech in Washington on Thursday, the former prime minister said that while the majority of Muslims reject the views of the militant Islamist group - which is also known as Daesh - there are still many that do not.

At a Kissinger lecture at the Library of Congress, Mr Blair said: “A belief in innate hostility between Islam and the West is not the preserve of the few.

“Those who believe in concepts of the caliphate and the apocalypse – so much part of Daesh propaganda – stretch deep into parts of Muslim societies.

"Of course a large majority of Muslims completely reject Daesh-like jihadism and the terrorism which comes with it. The ideology has deep roots. We have to reach right the way down and uproot it.”

Mr Blair also praised MPs for voting for extending airstrikes in Syria in a bid to defeat Isis.

He said: “For Europe, there is a huge calculation to be made. This security threat is at our door. It is actually within our home. We have a paramount interest in defeating it, which is why last night’s vote in the British House of Commons was so important. Europe has to create, within its nation states, the armed force capability to allow us not just to play our part but to lead.”

In October, Mr Blair admitted to “elements of truth” in the claim that the Iraq war was to blame for the rise of radical terrorist group Isis.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments