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Blair Calls For Global Alliance On Values

Tony Blair speaking in Canberra on March 27 (epa) March 27, 2006 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for a global alliance to protect "global values" like justice and freedom.

Addressing the Australian parliament today, Blair said the "immediate threat is from Islamist extremism."

Blair also pledged to keep British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan until those countries are stabilized.

Britain and Australia were the only two countries to send troops to fight alongside U.S. forces in the invasion of Iraq three years ago. Both countries still have forces in the country and in Afghanistan fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.