The Prime Minister warned against “getting in to the twisted logic” of the terrorists which perverts Islam.
“I still think there is a tendency, I think, to compromise too much with their arguments,” Mr Blair told a joint press conference alongside the Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai.
“The only way of dealing with this menace is head on – their actions and deeds.
“It is absolutely evil, you cannot compromise on it.”
He cautioned against people thinking that “fundamentally, their means are wrong, but their ends are right”.
“Their means are wrong, and their ends are wrong,” he added.
They will use any issue to recruit people, he warned.
He was responding to a recent think-tank report which said Britain’s role in Iraq made it more vulnerable to terror attacks.
The Prime Minister said governments had to tackle the terrorists’ “deep rooted” ideology taught in religious schools and fight for democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“It is important that steps are taken to root out these things that are giving reason to this extremism,” he said.
Mr Blair said the Government is working with Pakistan to stop the extreme teaching in religious schools.
The terrorists are well-funded and supported, and it will take time, but Mr Blair predicted the terrorists will “lose in the end because of the human spirit”.
He’s right – as he was in his ‘hearts and minds speech’ at the weekend.
The big question is – how to win the battle for hearts and minds? And it is not just a matter of the hearts and minds of the Muslim community in Britain. The terrorists surely see an appeasing western population as a major boost to their strategy and the reaction of so many to the recent atrocity in London indicates there is a long, hard fight to be won in the realm of public opinion.
And it is a much more difficult in Britain than in the US. When Blair talks about our way of life and defending democracy you can hear the giggles at the back of the class. It is most definately not just the Stoppers – the idea that democracy and human liberty is something worth defending and advancing is taken seriously in some places but not, it so often seems, in the United Kingdom.
Why have so many non-Muslims also bought into the selective victimisation that David Aaronovitch noted this morning?
Why does anti-Americanism seem to trump any other concerns when it comes to popular British attitudes to foreign affairs?
Why do so many refuse to consider that Islamist terrorism is based on an explicitly stated ideology and is not just some tit-for-tat squabble that we can end with a handshake?
Why is the first reaction of so many to a fascist atrocity to assume that we deserved it?
Why do we tell our armed forces that they are dupes who are ‘dying for a lie’ rather than praise their courage and bravery?
Why do we tolerate the sickening situation where grieving parents of fallen soilders are exploited by those who actually support the very people who killed their sons?
Why does our media give a platform to apologists and supporters of terrorism yet virtually ignore those Muslims who are struggling for the right to live free of violence in a tolerant, democratic society?
Why is the mass slaughter in Sudan not on the list of many people’s Grievances?
Why do intelligent people of the left and in today’s news the right believe we have anything to compromise or negotiate about when faced with armed totalitarian theocrats bent on mass murder?
The struggle against this enemy obviously needs to be fought on many fronts and hearts and minds is one of those – one where, judging from so much reaction in the past 12 days, an awful lot of work needs to be carried out.