“The resignation of Michael Nazir-Ali as Bishop of Rochester is a terrible blow, not just for the Church of England but for Britain.
“…. when Dr Nazir-Ali warned last year that Islamic extremists had created ‘no-go areas’ across Britain where non-Muslims faced intimidation, he was disowned by his fellow churchmen who all but declared that he was a liar – even though he was telling the truth….
“Dr Nazir-Ali is one of the very few inside the church to make explicit the link between Christian and British values, and to warn publicly that they are being destroyed through the prevailing doctrine of multiculturalism….
“With the church refusing to assert itself, this vacuum has allowed radical Islam to promote itself as an influential force in public life. Indeed it is rubbing its hands at the opportunity. And in the longer term that risks destroying our basic values of individual freedom and equality – and with them the identity of Britain itself.
“Dr Nazir-Ali understands this very clearly…. Back in the Eighties, he warned of the rise of radical Islamism. No-one listened. Now he urges an ‘ideological battle’ against fundamentalist Islam, which he likens to the Western struggle against Marxism. But the church still isn’t listening, and is falling over itself to accommodate it instead. Thus Dr Williams’s lamentable statement that there was no reason why sharia law should not be accepted in Britain over certain areas of Muslim life….
“Dr Nazir-Ali’s outspoken opposition to such developments has made him powerful enemies within the church. Last summer, a group of influential churchmen met to work out how to sideline those ‘aggressive’ Christians who were ‘increasing the level of fear’ by talking about the threat from radical Islam. Among those in their sights was the Bishop of Rochester.
“In any sane world, Michael Nazir-Ali – a church leader whose intellect is matched by his courage and insight – should be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury to defend our society at this most dangerous time. Instead, he is out.”
Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail, 30 March 2009
See also “The resignation of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is a victory for Islamism” by Damian Thompson.
For a rather different take on the issue, see Sunny Hundal’s comments at Pickled Politics.