Leading UK Muslims have united to tell Tony Blair that his foreign policy in Iraq and on Israel offers “ammunition to extremists” and puts British lives “at increased risk”. An open letter signed by three of the four Muslim MPs, three of the four peers, and 38 organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain, was greeted with dismay in Downing Street.
The letter says: “As British Muslims we urge you to do more to fight against all those who target civilians with violence, whenever and wherever that happens. It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad.
“To combat terror the government has focused extensively on domestic legislation. While some of this will have an impact, the government must not ignore the role of its foreign policy.
“The debacle of Iraq and the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to the attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.
“Attacking civilians is never justified. This message is a global one. We urge the prime minister to redouble his efforts to tackle terror and extremism and change our foreign policy to show the world that we value the lives of civilians wherever they live and whatever their religion. Such a move would make us all safer.”