Earlier this week, former prime minister Tony Blair said that politicized Islam in the Middle East explains much of the region’s problems, to the point where the West ought to set aside its differences with Russia and China to confront the problem. He elaborated on Meet the Press Sunday morning.
The problems in Middle Eastern countries, Blair said, have a common theme: “a disruptive effect of an ideology, based on a extreme and perverted view of the proper faith of Islam.” This radical ideology is still being exported from the Middle East, he said, and it’s spreading across the world.
When asked by David Gregory whether the problem-plagued interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan that Blair backed explain some of this ideology, Blair pushed back, pointing out that Islamist terrorism was around long before 9/11.
“We have to liberate ourselves from this thinking that somehow it’s our actions that have caused radical Islam,” Blair said. “You can carry on explaining all this by saying ‘it’s us, we provoked them, it’s really they’re trying to react against Western imperialism,’ [but that’s] nonsense.”