We support tolerance and oppose religious extremism AND military dictators. A petition to the backers of Quartet Representative, Tony Blair.

To:

the United Nations Secretary General;

United States Secretary of State;

Foreign Minister of Russia;

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Tony Blair does not represent us and we request that you remove him as Quartet Representative.

In a recent speech former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "the Middle East remains of central importance" and he warned against confusing "those who support the Islamist ideology with all Muslims." Later in his speech he seemed to do exactly the latter, and he argued that 'the West' should support authoritarian regimes against 'Islamist' extremists.

"The important point for Western opinion is that this is a struggle with two sides."

On Egypt he said "We should support the new Government and help. None of this means that where there are things we disagree strongly with – such as the death sentence on the 500 – that we do not speak out."

We are disappointed that the European Union External Action Service sent an election observation mission to an Egyptian election that was impossible to be free and fair – a waste of European taxpayers' money. This contrasts badly with the respected Carter Centre that refused to be implicated in legitimising the charade. The EU and US de facto support of the military regime betrays the values they are supposed to promote.

The EU mission stated redundantly –

"The Presidential Election was administered in line with the law, in an environment falling short of constitutional principles"

"the right to vote and the right to stand for all citizens are not fully protected. The EU EOM noted also a general climate of limited freedom of expression".

This, and Tony Blair's logic, smacks of the same moral relativism that saw Western governments back Apartheid South Africa, and turn a blind eye to abuses by South American and other dictatorships. It is wrong, hypocritical, and undermines support for tolerance, freedom and the rule of law.

We citizens reject this bartering of rights against extremism. We support tolerance and freedom and oppose both religious related and secular extremism. We reject the hypocrisy of government policies that undermine the values they are supposed to be upholding. De facto supporting a military coup in one country while condemning one in another. Supporting a referendum under the barrel of a gun in one country, but condemning it in another. Seemingly ignoring journalists being victimised in political show trials in one country and condemning it elsewhere. This plays into the hands of extremists and those who put fundamentalism and greed above humanity.

We tell the World leaders that issue his authority that Tony Blair does not represent us and we call upon you to strip him of his Quartet Representative status.

Please follow link to sign

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/the_UN_Secretary_General_United_States_Secretary_of_State_2_others_Tony_Blair_does_not_represent_us_we_request_you_remov/share/?new

Extracts from Tony Blair's speech.

"in Russia, whose Muslim population is now over 15%, and radical influences are stretching across the whole of the central part of Northern Asia, reaching even the Western province of Xinjiang in China.

In the Far East, .. , in Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia, there remain real inter-religious challenges and tensions. In the recent Indonesian elections, the Islamic parties received a third of the vote.

The Muslim population in Europe is now over 40m and growing. The Muslim Brotherhood and other organisations are increasingly active and they operate without much investigation or constraint."

Elsewhere in his speech Tony Blair said:

"Many of those totally opposed to the Islamist ideology are absolutely devout Muslims. In fact it is often the most devout who take most exception to what they regard as the distortion of their faith by those who claim to be ardent Muslims whilst acting in a manner wholly in contradiction to the proper teaching of the Koran."

"it is not Islam itself that gives rise to this ideology. It is an interpretation of Islam, actually a perversion of it which many Muslims abhor. There used to be such interpretations of Christianity which took us years to eradicate from our mainstream politics."

Links.

Why the Middle East Matters – a keynote speech by Tony Blair

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 in Office of Tony Blair, Office of the Quartet Representative

Tony Blair delivered the following speech at Bloomberg London HQ on Wednesday 23 April 2014

http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/news/entry/why-the-middle-east-matters-keynote-speech-by-tony-blair/

"The Quartet, set up in 2002, consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development and institution-building in preparation for eventual statehood. It meets regularly at the level of the Quartet Principals (United Nations Secretary General, United States Secretary of State, Foreign Minister of Russia, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Quartet Special Envoys."

http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/quartet/pages/about-oqr/

Preliminary Statement of the EUEOM Presidential Election in Egypt 2014

03/06/2014

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/press_corner/all_news/news/2014/20140529_en.pdf

Press Release: Presidential Election administered in line with the law, in an environment falling short of constitutional principles

03/06/2014

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/egypt/press_corner/all_news/news/2014/20140529a_en.pdf

How genuine is Egypt's election contest?

23 May 2014 Last updated at 07:03

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27475293

Egypt's Pre-Stolen Election

By Anna Newby; MAY 20 2014 9:22 AM.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/05/20/egypt_s_elections_won_t_be_free_or_fair_but_you_won_t_see_fraud_on_election.html

H.A. Hellyer April 28, 2014 12:16pm

Tony Blair Failed to Learn From His "War on Terror"

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2014/04/28-tony-blair-speech-islamism-hellyer

Council of the European Union: Council conclusions on Egypt. Foreign Affairs Council meeting; Brussels, 10 February 2014

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/140971.pdf

Carter Center Expresses Concern about the State of Egypt's Political Transition,

May 16, 2014.

http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/egypt-05162014.html