Criticism was mounting yesterday over “scaremongering” comments by a senior Church of England bishop about how parts of Britain had become no-go areas for non-Muslims. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, blamed multiculturalism for segregating religious groups and said non-Muslims faced a hostile reception in places dominated by the ideology of Islamic radicals. He wrote that the integration agenda pursued by the government lacked “a moral and spiritual vision”, and he condemned the failure to give priority to the established church, which he believes has led to a “multi-faith mish-mash”. Helen Pidd reports.
A senior Church of England bishop says Islamic extremists in Britain are trying to create areas that exclude non-Muslims. The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali contends the goal is to establish “no-go” zones in England in which people of different faiths face physical attack, The Sunday Telegraph reported. The Pakistani-born Nazir-Ali, who serves as the bishop of Rochester, warned that Britain is becoming a divided nation due to government immigration policy and the “novel philosophy of multiculturalism.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown had no immediate comment. Muslim leaders scoffed at what they called an overreaction and asked for specific locations of the reputed Muslim strongholds.
One of the Church of England’s most senior bishops is warning that people will die unless Muslim leaders in Britain speak out in defence of the right to change faith. Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, whose father converted from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan, says he is looking to Muslim leaders in Britain to ‘uphold basic civil liberties, including the right for people to believe what they wish to believe and to even change their beliefs if they wish to do so’.