London – Boris Johnson’s speech at the Foreign Office today claiming that British foreign policy is the solution for and not the cause of political violence, represents a complete denial of reality and an attempt by the government to dodge any responsibility for our current situation.

Armed groups and those imprisoned for political violence, cite British foreign policy as a key grievance. This has been acknowledged by countless voices of authority including, Baroness Manningham-Buller, a former director-general of MI5, who in 2010 said: “Our involvement in Iraq, for want of a better word, radicalised a whole generation of young people, some of them British citizens who saw our involvement in Iraq, on top of our involvement in Afghanistan, as being an attack on Islam.”

In fact, Britain cites threats of violence or actual violence by these armed groups as a justification to carry out its own violent military strikes.

Before he left office US President Barack Obama admitted that the creation of Islamic State was an “unintended consequence” of the US-led invasion of Iraq and its subsequent dismemberment.

Considering Iraq was invaded based on flawed evidence centred on “dodgy dossiers” and tortured evidence, Boris Johnson’s assertion that problems in the Middle East have increased because of Britain’s “aloofness” beggar belief. When he says “British foreign policy is not the problem; it is part of the solution” Johnson tramples on the beliefs and views of millions of ordinary British people.

Dr Adnan Siddiqui, director of CAGE, said:

“Mr Johnson’s comments give air to right-wing groups and follow on from his earlier statements on Brexit which have inspired a narrow, insular nationalism, the consequences of which are being felt not only by Muslims, but all right-minded people concerned with justice.”

“Mr Johnson makes no mention of the swathe of evidence testifying to how the rule of law has been consistently and brutally eroded by the ‘War on Terror’ both abroad and at home. Not acknowledging this as a root cause of violence that needs to be tackled urgently, is quite simply a denial of reality, if not an outright deception. As such, it takes us further from solutions and simply reinvigorates an already failing approach.”


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(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)