theguardian: by Seumas Milne —
In Britain, the campaign against Islamist “extremism” is once again in full flow. In fact, it is open season on the Muslim community. For the past few weeks reports have multiplied about an alleged “Islamic plot”, code-named Operation Trojan Horse, to take control of 25 state schools in Birmingham and run them on strict religious principles.
The neocons are back. That toxic blend of messianic warmongering abroad and McCarthyite witch-hunting at home – which gave us Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and the London bombings – is coursing through our public life again. Yesterday the liberal interventionists’ hero, Tony Blair, was once more demanding military action against the “threat of radical Islam”.
Reprising the theme that guided him and George Bush through the deceit and carnage of the “war on terror”, the former prime minister took his crusade against “Islamism” on to a new plane. The west should, he demanded, make common cause with Russia and China to support those with a “modern” view against the tide of political Islam.
But he also demanded military intervention against Syria – backed by Russia – along with more “active measures” to help the armed opposition, which is dominated by Islamists and jihadists. It’s a crazy combination with an openly anti-democratic core: the Middle East peace envoy also warmly endorsed the Egyptian dictatorship, along with the repressive autocracies of the Gulf.