Tony Blair Twitter Q&A

Posted on February 9th, 2012

Wed, 08/02/2012 – 12:00am

8 February 2012 — In honour of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week Tony Blair, Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, participated in a question and answer session on Twitter. We had great questions from all around the world. Here is a summary of the Twitter conversation:

Tony Blair: Hi, this is Tony Blair + for interfaith harmony week I’ll be answering questions from here #AskTony twitpic.com/8h9boc

Thank you to all of you who have already sent in questions. I’ll RT the question and then provide an answer #AskTony

Question 1 to Tony Blair: @mssolidarity #AskTony How does interfaith work help conflict?

Answer 1 from Tony Blair: @mssolidarity Understanding other religions and viewpoints helps break down barriers + avoid misunderstandings

Q2: @HaleyHD How can we use new media to promote interfaith dialogue? #askTony

A2: @HaleyHD We’re doing it now! Vital to use all the tools which connect people in the modern world

Q3: @MoiraNash Why do you think youth in particular are important in advancing the interfaith movement? #AskTony

A3: The energy, drive and passion of the next generation is the key to peaceful coexistence between all people…

Q4: what are the benefits of living in a multifaith community? #asktony

A4: You get to understand how people live and think which is vital

Q5: @micahchallenge – How can ordinary citizens help remind governments to keep their promises on the MDGs? #asktony

A5: The same way we got the commitments in the first place – strong mobilisation of the faith community + pressure on political leaders#AskTony

Q6: @Duyvenbode What are the key positive & negative perceptions of sacred texts in the public square? #AskTony

A6: @Duyvenbode Positive – debate is in the open. Negative – often no room allowed for proper discourse

Q7: How can we ensure faith schools are a force for good in the interfaith story? #AskTony

A7: By making interfaith education a major part of what we teach — 1 route is our FacetoFaith schools programme bit.ly/yvh7j4 .#AskTony

Q8: @nothing but nets – How can interfaith efforts make a difference in the fight against malaria? #AskTony

A8: Working across faiths raises awareness in rich countries + let’s us use the faith infrastructure in poor countries to fight disease#AskTony

Q9: @YourMajesty Do you think anything can be done do present the Muslim faith in a good light in the media, like other religions?#AskTony

A9: Yes, by telling of the great charity work Muslim organisations do + by Muslim engagement in interfaith #AskTony

Q10: @Hah26 – how important is religious education in schools?#AskTony

A10: @HAH26 – Vital we should know about all faiths not just one#AskTony

Q11: @Zopalok – how do you reconcile the different needs of religious communities with liberal equality of rights + obligations? #AskTony

A11: @Zopalok By accepting that faith too has to have a pluralistic attitude so faith friendly democracy + democracy friendly faith#AskTony

Q12: @david_cowan What do you think about the social and cultural impact of de-Christianisation and secularisation in Europe?#AskTony

A12: @david_cowan the judeo-christian values of Europe r essential to its nature + to its future including respect for those of different faiths

Q13: @UsmanANawaz In your opinion will the Arab Spring create a space in the middle-east for religious freedom? #AskTony

A13: @UsmanANawaz – it can do and must do because democracy only works with an open mind. #AskTony

Q14: @Silkoff What role should faith communities have in improving gender equality? Can you be a religious feminist? #AskTony

A14: @Silkoff – it’s a huge challenge for faith but one they have to overcome. #AskTony

Q15: @JackBailey88 What are your thoughts on the passing of Christopher Hitchens and what role to atheists have in interfaith work? #asktony

A15: @askjackbailey88 – Chris was great, deeply spiritual if not religious. People of faith should never be afraid of secular dialogue. #AskTony

Q16: .@DrOpinion how can we improve our theological understanding with countries such as China?Do we concentrate on 3 Abrahamic Faiths?#AskTony

A16: .DrOpinion, we have to engage more, China has a rich history + many millions of Buddhists.Understanding China helps the faith world #AskTony

Q17: .@CIFAorg – is interfaith action impactful beyond fighting malaria? can it build community as a whole? #AskTony

A17: .Cifaorg yes because strong communities need people to work together + in today’s world communities will often be interfaith.#AskTony

Q18: .@CianSOsullivan -away from the public eye what have you done or tried to do to improve your personal understanding of faiths?#AskTony

A18: .@CianSOSullivan – read more, thought more, studied more #AskTony

Q19: janemerrick23 amused by the #asktony Q+A going on at moment. Questions v predictable, and I doubt he’s even at the screen, but still rather amusing

A 19: RT RuthTurner. @janemerrick23 #asktony I promise you Jane, he’s personally answering them. We’ve been giving him twitter lessons …

Q20: @RuthTurner I stand corrected! Apologies to you and Tony #asktony #journalistapologisestotonyblair

Q21: .@jwright89 When is it right to grant religious minorities cultural minority rights? #AskTony

A21: .@jwright89 they should have rights as long as they do not diminsh or impose upon the religious rights of all. #AskTony

Q22: .@kateIxer what has been a personal highlight for you from all your#interfaith anti#malaria work in Sierra Leone? #AskTony

A22: .@KateIxer so far, doing the Hitchens debate, teaching @ Yale, listening 2 students + seeing value faiths bring on the ground#AskTony

Tony Blair’s Closing response: Sorry everyone, time’s up, but thanks for your questions. Until the next time, please keep following the Foundation on twitter.#AskTony

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