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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 04:17 GMT 05:17 UK
Blair's Muslim views 'unhelpful'
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
Dr Bari said much good work has been done
A leading Muslim has accused Tony Blair of playing an "unhelpful blame game" by suggesting moderate Muslims are doing too little to challenge extreme views.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said Mr Blair's remarks could hamper the good work being done.

Moderate Muslims had promoted dialogue and peace in their communities since the 2001 attacks in the US, he said.

And Mr Blair risked obscuring the real reasons for last year's London attacks.

Dr Bari said: "Blaming a community, especially those who have been working for the last five years to bringing sanity in the community, bringing peace and harmony in the community.

"This blaming is not helpful to us."

Unhealthy

He utterly condemned the violence of last July but wants a public inquiry to reveal the factors behind it.

That would allow the country to move on from an unhealthy debate focusing only on extremists, he believes.

On Tuesday, the prime minister said: "In the end, government itself cannot go and root out the extremism in these communities.

"I am probably not the person to go into the Muslim community... It's better that we mobilise the Islamic community itself to do this."


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