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October 11, 2001

UK always supported Palestinian state, says Blair

Britain, the rest of Europe and the US have always recognised that the Palestinians have faced, and face, injustice, Prime Minister Tony Blair said in his latest appeal to win Muslim support for the US-led war against Afghanistan.
“We have always supported the creation of a Palestinian state, through negotiation, which contributes to the stability of all the countries in the region including Israel,” Blair said in an article written for the Muslim News and the Arab press.
“That is why, in the last few days, we have exerted enormous pressure to get the Middle East peace process back on track. We are determined to prevent the events of September 11 damaging the chance of a fair peace still further,” he said.
The Prime Minister repeated that the attacks on Afghanistan is “not a war against Islam.” Usama bin Ladin’s allegation was the “most outrageous,” he said. “It couldn’t be more wrong and it couldn’t be more dangerous.”
Blair argued that if it was a war against Islam, why would every country in the world condemn the attacks on America? Why would the West be stepping up humanitarian aid to the Afghani people? Why would the military action be targeted against only against terrorists who carried out the attacks in the US and the regime that supports them? And why would the West be redoubling efforts to bring peace in the Middle East?
“The tragedy is that Usama bin Ladin is cynically exploiting people’s faith to divide East and West, Muslim and non-Muslim. He and his supporters are inciting murder in the name of Islam and undermining the interests and welfare of Muslim communities across the globe,” he said.
In his argument, the Prime Minister also quoted from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saying to his armies: “Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people,” and “Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemy.” This is why Islamic leaders and Muslim "clerics" around the world have rightly condemned the attacks on America as terrorism pure and simple, he said.

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