7 Jul, 2015
Blair’s speech, which branded Islamic extremism an “evil ideology” with “devilish logic,” was not the beginning of Islamophobia in Britain. As Merali notes, it is tempting to see such events as a starting point when in fact they are part of a “trajectory” of popular sentiment. But by saying the acts were “founded in belief,” Blair paved the way for a decade of confusion over terminology, and unwittingly gave prejudice a context and legitimacy, the effects of which are still apparent in contemporary political speeches.
Published in the autumn after the attacks, a report by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, an organization which will host Blair after his resignation as Middle East peace envoy, said the authorities were “optimistic” that levels of hate crime against Muslims would sink back to pre-7/7 levels following an initial spike.