Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Telegraph has published a new interview with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, a few weeks after his well-publicised statements on 'no-go' areas in Muslim communities. It doesn't say anything massively controversial, but the article points out that he's had death threats since he made the statements. The irony is that here is a man who fled to England from Pakistan because of death threats there.

An extract: read the full text here.

"There are extremist movements in this country whose agenda is far from integration, we must be aware of this," he says. "It is not only a threat to security but to integration. They are significant enough to influence sections of young people."

Just over a year ago Abu Izzadeen, an Islamic radical, heckled John Reid, the former home secretary, as he tried to deliver a speech on targeting potential extremists. "How dare you come to a Muslim area," Izzadeen screamed.

There was widespread dismay at the outburst, but nobody had dared to try to suggest that these views were entrenched across the country until the bishop spoke last month.

In warning of attempts to impose an Islamic character on certain areas, for example by amplifying the call to prayer from mosques, he seems to have tapped into the fears of a large section of society.

To many, he has become a champion of traditional Christianity and its importance to Britain at the same time as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been attacked for suggesting the adoption of aspects of sharia law is "unavoidable" in this country.

While the archbishop received widespread support from within the Church, Dr Nazir-Ali found himself isolated from his colleagues.

"I don't court popularity. If I say something it's because I think it's important enough to say it. What I said was based on evidence, and that has been strengthened as a result of overwhelming correspondence."

It's interesting to read the comments, they are almost 100% supportive of Bp Michael.

No comments:

Post a Comment