Blair: ‘Peace and Knowledge’ Needed in Fight Against Extremism

Blair: ‘Peace and Knowledge’ Needed in Fight Against Extremism

Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain, talks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Photo by Jin Lee.

Security designed to contain and prevent terrorism since 9/11 is important, but not the only answer in confronting violent extremism worldwide, said Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain.

The ideology that propels religious-based extremism also must be met head on with far-reaching education and true understanding.

"If the roots are deep, we have to go down to them and uproot the poisonous growth," Blair said yesterday, speaking at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. "We have to replace the seeds of hatred and ignorance with those of peace and knowledge."

Since leaving office, Blair, through work at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, continues the fight against religiously-based extremism, 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said.

"Many of us here recognize the great debt that America owes to Tony Blair, who pledged immediately after 9/11 that the UK would join fully in the fight against al-Qaeda and violent jihadism," Daniels said. "[He] stood by his word, at a real political cost, and remains one of America’s strongest and most loyal friends."

Blair’s speech coincided with the release of a report by his foundation’s Centre on Religion & Geopolitics. The "Inside the Jihadi Mind" report investigates the common ideology shared through propaganda by three leading extremist groups.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff