Arab world has long way to go - Blair

2012-09-17 16:28
Tony Blair (File, AP)

Tony Blair (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Monday warned that violent demonstrations over an American anti-Islam film show that some in the Arab world are still a generation from modernisation.

The former premier, now a Middle East envoy, dismissed the film as "laughable" but called the response of extremists "very wrong".

"The film, it may be wrong and offensive, but it's also laughable as a piece of film-making," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The problem with this is that you have a small number of real extremists, the people who engage in violence, but the narrative goes far deeper, which is why this is a big problem and will take a generation to sort out," he argued.

"There is essentially a struggle between the forces of modernisation, who want an open society, a properly functioning economy ... and then these very powerful forces of reaction, based on a perverted view of reaction, that want to pull the whole thing backwards."

Outbreaks of violence

Protests on Monday turned violent for the first time in Afghanistan and Indonesia as hundreds of angry men clashed with police, hurling stones and shouting "Death to America".

The outbreaks of violence were the latest over the low-budget trailer made in the United States and aired on YouTube that has fanned unrest around the world, leaving at least 18 people dead.

Blair, who was prime minister from 1997 to 2007, called the violence unjustified and said the West needed to educate newly-democratic countries in the Middle East about the importance of religious tolerance, fair treatment of minorities and an open economy.

"We need both the leadership within those countries and within Islam to stand up and say, 'Look, there is a proper modern way of reconciling religious faith, democracy in society', and we need ourselves from the outside to engage with this process of change in a way that's constructive," he added.

Read more on:    tony blair  |  us  |  uk  |  prophet protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
30 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.