Protests have gripped the Middle East and the wider Muslim world in response to a film deemed insulting to Islam.
Tony Blair, the former prime minister and currently Middle East "quartet" representative, dismissed the film as a "laughable piece of filmmaking" but said the reaction is "very dangerous and very wrong".
He told the Today programme that there is a struggle in the region between the forces of modernisation "and these very powerful forces of reaction based on a perverted view of religion".
"The great debate in the world at the moment is between the open-minded and the close-minded," he said, and believed that the open-minded will win the debate.
On Syria, Mr Blair said it "would be very tragic if we lost sight of what is happening" and called for a "ramping up" of the effort in the country.
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