London, Apr 24 (ANI): Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who does not regret leading Britain to Iraq war, has called on the world to take on and defeat Islamic extremists.
He believes that, without intervention, the problem will continue to grow in countries such as Afghanistan, and called for a battle to be waged against militant Islam similar to that fought against revolutionary communism.
Blair said that the world today faced a struggle posed by "an extreme and misguided form of Islam," which threatened the majority of Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
"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," Blai told a a forum on religion and politics in Chicago.
The struggle could not be won "without our active and wholehearted participation," The Times quoted Blair, as saying.
Blair was speaking almost 10 years to the day since he gave an address in Chicago at the height of the Kosovo crisis when he set out what he described as a "doctrine of international community" that sought to justify intervention, including military intervention.
The speech was criticised widely at the time as hopelessly idealistic and even dangerous.
Defending his intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said the argument that Britain should revert to a more traditional, cautious foreign policy should be resisted.
Blair also defended the Obama Administration's attempts to engage with Iran, and said: "The Iranian Government should not be able to claim that we have refused the opportunity for constructive dialogue, and the stature and importance of such an ancient and extraordinary civilisation means that as a nation, Iran should command respect and be accorded its proper place in the world's affairs."
He argued that the purpose of such engagement should be clear and was about more than preventing Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability. (ANI)