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Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 00:53 GMT 01:53 UK
Blair: Koran inspired me
blair
Mr Blair says Islam is a 'deeply reflective, peaceful faith'
Prime Minister Tony Blair has praised the Muslim faith as "beautiful", and says he has read the religion's holy book, the Koran.

Mr Blair says he owns two copies of the Koran, and has drawn inspiration from reading it.

"If you read the Koran, it is so clear... the concept of love and fellowship as the guiding spirits of humanity," he says, in an interview due to be published in the Muslim News.

Mr Blair told the newspaper that he appreciates Islam as "a deeply reflective, peaceful, very beautiful religious faith".

And he said he would be "very surprised" if Labour did not have Muslim candidates standing in winnable seats in the next election.

The newspaper - due to be published on 31 March - quotes Mr Blair as saying that Britain should "reach out and build a greater understanding of what Islam is".

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