Azara Blog: Blair decides to give a speech about Islamic extremism

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Date published: 2006/12/08

The BBC says:

People entering the UK must be prepared to be tolerant or not become part of society, Tony Blair has said.

In a speech at Downing Street, the prime minister said that tolerance was "what makes Britain" and warned "we must be ready to defend this attitude".

The threat came not from "generalised extremism" but "a new and virulent form of ideology associated with a minority of our Muslim community".

The Muslim Association of Britain said Mr Blair's speech was "alarming".

A spokesman said the prime minister should be "investing in our society" to help the deprived, rather than investing "millions and billions in illegal occupations" which had "not helped to promote multiculturalism in this country".
The failure of that part of the community to integrate did not mean multiculturalism was dead, said Mr Blair, but it would be useful to define "common values" all citizens were "expected to conform to".

"When it comes to our essential values - belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, equal treatment for all, respect for this country and its shared heritage - then that is where we come together, it is what we hold in common."

Mr Blair also said: "If you come here lawfully, we welcome you. If you are permitted to stay here permanently, you become an equal member of our community and become one of us.

"The right to be different, the duty to integrate: that is what being British means.

Another speech from Blair meant to distract. The two extremist acts during his term of office were the 7 July 2005 bombs in London (which he is now fixated upon, since it turns the spotlight on someone else's extremism), and, far worse in terms of death and destruction, his own illegal invasion of Iraq (2003-6 and counting). If he doesn't like extremism he should avoid being extremist himself. And since when is the "duty to integrate ... is what being British means"? How many Brits integrate when they go abroad?

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