Friday, April 24, 2009

Tony Blair calls for Holy War against Islamism

He did not use the phrase ‘Holy War’, but it is difficult to see how otherwise this self-appointed prophet and crusading born-again Roman Catholic believes his words will be interpreted by those ‘religious extremists’ to whom his speech was addressed. The problem he shall find is that the Islamism (‘an extreme and misguided form of Islam’) which has been so designated and formally recognised in the West out of the category-obsessed confines of modernity is what many in the (Middle) East might define as orthodox Islam. Cranmer assures Mr Blair that to declare war against ‘Islamic extremists’ will be interpreted in at least three corners of the Islamic world as a declaration of war against Islam. It is political posturing and crass diplomacy, and hardly a worthy proclamation from a Faith Foundation which purports to prioritise the pursuit of peace.

If Durban II established anything, it was to codify the emerging Islamist ‘New World Order’; to make overt the religio-political objective of imposing non-democratic and illiberal values on the West. According to Flemming Rose, editor of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's largest-circulation newspaper, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member-states are ‘trying to rewrite the rules of human rights and international law in a way that undermines the values of liberty enshrined in the Western canon – including the US Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

If merely criticising Islam is to be recognised in international law as a form of incitement, there can no longer be freedom of expression.

Tony Blair is a moral interventionist. And that intervention, where necessary, shall be with bombs and bullets. He may not have ‘done God’ while he was prime minister (for fear of being called ‘a nutter’), but by justifying now, from the pulpit of his Faith Foundation, his decisions to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, is to place his struggle (‘Jihad’) in the religio-political realms of ‘Holy War’. His call for battle to be waged against ‘militant Islam’ in the same fashion to that fought against revolutionary Communism is, at best, dangerous hyperbole, and, at worst, an invitation to ‘militant Islam’ to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war after the fashion of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

No doubt President Ahmadinejad shall revel in playing Khrushchev, to the glory of Allah.

Mr Blair is naïve and foolish, and Cranmer wishes the former prime minister would dispense with his Penguin edition of the Qur’an and consult with serious Islamic scholarship. One becomes wise by keeping company with the wise, and these wise shall not always say what one wishes to hear. To appoint the like-minded to one’s advisory board is folly: Mr Blair shall not grasp the theological genius or the importance of the ecclesiastical and liturgical reforms of Pope Benedict XVI by admitting the Lord Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to his inner sanctum to attempt to explain them. One grasps religious depths and political complexities by inculturation, not contention; by listening, not by lecturing.

No doubt Mr Blair simply believes that the peacemakers shall indeed be blessed, but he conveniently omits to heed the warning of the fate of those who live by the sword. Yet he says: “Our job is simple: it is to support and partner those Muslims who believe deeply in Islam but also who believe in peaceful co-existence, in taking on and defeating the extremists who don't."

Our job is simple?

The man must spend his evenings meditating upon ‘Islam for Idiots’ and his morning devotional must be drawn from ‘Catholicism for Cretins’. If this task be ‘simple’, he must begin by defining what he means by ‘believe deeply in Islam’ (as distinguished from merely believing in Islam, for the ‘deeply’ is ominous), and then examining the nature of the justice of a ‘peaceful co-existence’ in which the kuffar are merely tolerated whilst being eradicated by stealth, but always through the path of peace which lies at the heart of the salaam of Islam.

Mr Blairs ‘doctrine of international community’ may be drawn from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, but Mr Blair is no Augustine of Hippo or Thomas Aquinas. What became known as the ‘Just War Theory’ is complex, nuanced and profoundly moral: Mr Blair’s crusade is facile, simplistic and relativistic. He sounds increasingly like a divinely-appointed Luke Skywalker against the satatic Islamist forces of Darth Vader. We are no longer in an era in which war is waged against nation states, or even one in which war is formally declared. There is not one movement with an identifiable command and control, but a complex web of politically mutually-exclusive jihadists all linked by religious ideology. If, as Mr Blair says, military intervention is justified not only when a nation's interests are directly engaged but also where there exists a humanitarian crisis or gross oppression of a civilian population, who is to decide the threshold of acceptability of this oppression?

He says: “I still believe that those who oppress and brutalise their citizens are better put out of power than kept in it.”

If it is the oppression of humanity which justifies intervention in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, why does it not for Zimbabwe, North Korea or Iran?

If one is to avoid the perception of being at war with Islam, one ought at least to apply one's international doctrine of 'hard power' consistently, lest one be perceived by the Islamic Islamist world as a religious fanatic or 'Catholic extremist' in the mold of Pope Urban II, or of having an irrationally obsessive gripe against only those countries which happen to contain large numbers of Muslims.


Blogger Demetrius said...

Perhaps Mr. Blair has been supping the Calatrava wine at present on offer in Waitrose. It may have gone to his head.

24 April 2009 at 10:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been a fan of Blair, but I tend to agree with him this time -- we are at war with Islamism. Islamism is not much different from any other totalitarian belief system, and is wholly incompatible with Western civilisation. Their adherents in the diaspora communities in the West are steadily advancing an agenda, often with the aid of fellow travellers. Polling seems to indicate that they are supported in this endeavour by large numbers of so-called moderates.

The Islamists are also seeking political control of Middle Eastern states and other countries where Muslims are in the majority. We all know this. It is in the news just about every day. Does that mean we should invade Muslim countries - no, that is not required unless Islamist governments attack us.

Your Grace, I would also argue that you are too critical of Blair. He did not call for war against Islam. He did not need to do so. It is up to Muslims to decide (and by their actions reveal) if we are at war with Islam as well. In many places, such as Lebanon and Iraq and Egypt, Christian communities already feel themselves in a state of siege. So far, the behaviour of Muslim communities in Europe and North America is disappointing.

24 April 2009 at 11:16  
Anonymous Joshua said...

You wouldn't be trying to form a new narrative ready for the Tory resurrection? I see no distinction. Tar them all with the same brush, or continue with the dhimmitude. Trying to fish for votes like this is not the answer.

24 April 2009 at 11:44  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

If the Elites think that, why have they let so many in.

The Elites want war with Islam and are setting us up for it.

I do not want War with Islam, I want to get our Troops home and Trade with the Mid East as Friends and Neighbours.
Someone is setting us up.

Iran did NOT say wipe Israel off the Map

24 April 2009 at 12:26  
Blogger Theresa said...

Your Grace,

'If it is the oppression of humanity which justifies intervention in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, why does it not for Zimbabwe, North Korea or Iran?'

Because North Korea and Iran actually have weapons of mass destruction..

24 April 2009 at 14:39  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I always believed Blair should have been tried for war crimes after taking us into a war with Iraq on a false prospectus. His latest crass stupidity only serves to reinforce my opinion.

Will no one rid us of this troublesome Pope wannabe?

24 April 2009 at 15:50  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Thanks for Remindig Me Theresa, Kosovo another Media Lie by Blair, the Mass Media and Clinton ( the Elites )

Anyone remember the Serbian Death Camps story.

The Picture that Fooled the World

24 April 2009 at 17:39  
Anonymous len said...

To go to war with Islam would be futile, (history bears this out)
The battle is not a physical battle but a spiritual one.What is being played out on earth is merely a reflection of the war that is going on in heaven.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, we (christians) should be putting all our efforts into preaching the Gospel.
It is only when the conflicts in the world are seen through a spiritual perspective that the true nature of these conflicts will be seen.

24 April 2009 at 18:26  
Blogger Alcuin said...

Your Grace's perception of Blair would seem pretty well founded. Reagan may well have earned his living as an actor, but he was a serious politician who delivered. Blair was only ever an acting politician, motivited mainly by political narcissism.

After all the failed attempts at engaging with British Muslims, one really would have thought that Blair should have "got it" by now, and "it" is theology. The use of the term "Islamism" is somewhat suspect, as it is a Western invention that not many Muslims will recognise. Should someone explain to them what we mean by "Islamism" (say Martin Amis' definition that the boundary between Islam and Islamism is the latter's acceptance of violence to further the aims of Islam), I suspect that you may get blank looks - after all mainstream Islam does not demur from the use violence. In this respect, Ibn Warraq and Geert Wilders are spot on.

Blair knows he cannot use the word Crusade, as it allows the Arabs (in particular) but also ahistorical Liberals such as Terry Jones to point out the horrors of some of the Crusades. However a word to frame the current ideological (and potentially shooting) war is required, and I submit the ideal word is counter-jihad. This both underlines the fact that it is a response to an attack, and also points out that attacks are being mounted by Muslims against the West. While, according to their ideology, Jihad is an honourable (indeed obligatory) activity to be engaged in by Muslims, they also know how badly such a discourse plays in the West, even with the useful idiots.

24 April 2009 at 18:26  
OpenID jamestheless said...

By coincidence, last night I was reading Fr Alexander Schmemann's thoughts on the Iranian Revolution as it happened, in 1979.

Many Westerners (especially those who reject Christianity) believe that they hold "universal" values; tolerance towards people of different faiths and races, a careful avoidance of anything that might cause offence. They fail to recognise that their values are in fact the legacy of Christianity, albeit in a rather debased form.

They are completely unable to understand the mentality of a religion that is based on warfare, territorial occupation, conquest and forced conversion. Thirty years ago, Westerners were shocked and stunned by the seething, venomous hatred poured out at them on the streets of Tehran.

Of course, many Muslims do not share these values; particularly those who are middle-class and educated or brought up in the West. They will tell you that Islam isn't really about that, and they are quite sincere.

Alas, they are no different from modern, debased Christians who deny everything that is essential to Christianity (the Resurrection, the need for repentance, etc.). Sin and judgment are archaic concepts that don't have anything to do with Christianity, they will tell you; all that matters is to be a nice person, just like Jesus was.

Islam claims to have a billion followers, the vast majority of them in Africa and Asia. Anyone who thinks that Westernized Muslims are typical of the faith is seriously deluded.

In 1979, Westeners could be excused for not understanding this. After all the demonstrations we have had of the real nature of Islam in the last thirty years, what is Anthony Charles Lynton Blair's excuse?

24 April 2009 at 21:17  
Anonymous not a machine said...

this is right up my street for me today your grace !!

islam has agin demonstrated by killing of shias from iran at one of there holy shrines of all places , just what Tony Blair is speaking to and about.

"blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth"

to inherit means to recieve after someone or something has passed or been made.

we shall inherit one of the largest financial debt burdens in history thanks to labour , if only tony had found time to speak to his own people and see the lack of peace that this budget has created , i may have more time to think better of his attempts .

but to the post , the only real solution in the end is for islam , to put its house in order , it is moving out of being a third world faith in some respects you would think that that alone would change its actions.

but then what about people like me , who oppose it based on what my experineces of it and its interpretations , can Tony make the case we are both wrong ??

i wonder as a lawyer where he stands on the islamic legal concpet of "blood money" , is just like western personal indemity , or is it somthing that circumvents law being applied to a person as they have money???

protestant reformation questioned such aspects of the catholic faith , when islam was still regarded as a barbaric faith.

i wonder how such a reform could take place in islam , tony may want to think this over as you need an educated population to compute the arguments. my guess until islam goes through the sort of education that led to the eurpean enlightenment , it cannot begin its process of reform .

osmosis has some effect , but the uneducated are stubborn and inflexable , they cannot help it.

does islam want a choice , will be the a defining question for it in the next ten years , for it doesnt then neither can any other country that deals with it or is not believing in islam.

and there is also the crux of the mater "belief" , a belief is the opposite of lie , there is no , not sure . If he is not carefull he will create a culture of "not sure" around himself , which in one sense at least has no pride , but neither much of any thing else

25 April 2009 at 03:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Problem is a large chunk of Islam is at 'war' with us. If you read a Koran with a commentary, usually from a Saudi university, the views expressed are quite hair curling. It is time we stopped pussy footing round the issues here and did something about it. Licensing Mosques and Imams would be a good start, and so would a revised version of the Koran.

26 April 2009 at 19:46  

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