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Tony Blair, while visiting the Philippines and discussing their Islamic rebel problem, took the time out of the eye of the Western media to grow some kishkas and say it as it is:

MANILA, Philippines—To the world’s most prominent Roman Catholic convert, lasting peace in the Middle East depends on reconciliation, not between Jew and Muslim, but within Islam.

“Sometimes people don’t like me to say this,” British former Prime Minister Tony Blair told a packed audience at the Ateneo de Manila University Monday, “but the truth is there are two different elements … within the world of Islam. One of those elements wants to reconcile itself with us … and the other doesn’t.”

Blair spoke at the Ateneo de Manila forum on the impact of globalization and the imperative of social justice, but it was his remarks on the nature of the turmoil in the Middle East that seemed closest to influencing official policy.

“There is essentially one battle going on, and it is a battle about Islam,” he said.

His remarks were a response to a question about how he reached decisions when he was in high office, in particular his support of US President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He defended the decision, but acknowledged that it remained “highly controversial.”

Then he added a “larger point,” about the struggle within Islam. “The answer is not to back one dictator against another,” he said. “The answer is actually to partner with the modernizing and moderate elements, who are many now, to hasten change.”

Converted to Roman Catholicism in December 2007, Blair is known to be a close reader of the Koran as well. He explained his support for the moderate element in Islam by defining the faction in doctrinal terms: “In my view [it] is most truly and authentically the proper doctrine.”

“We gotta make sure those guys win,” he added.

(the source is here)

Unfortunately though, I’m going to have to disagree with his assessment that the so-called element within Islam that “wants to reconcile itself with us” is “most truly and authentically the proper doctrine.” That’s just naive wishful thinking. Those that speak up against Islamic extremism are unfortunately seen as the Islamic fringe.

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