Thinking Anglicans

"no-go" areas across Britain?

Updated Sunday morning

The Sunday Telegraph has an article by the Bishop of Rochester which is headlined Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity.

There is also a news report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones headlined Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims.

Here’s another bit of what Bishop Nazir-Ali says in his article:

It is now less possible for Christianity to be the public faith in Britain.

The existence of chapels and chaplaincies in places such as hospitals, prisons and institutions of further and higher education is in jeopardy either because of financial cuts or because the authorities want “multifaith” provision, without regard to the distinctively Christian character of the nation’s laws, values, customs and culture.

Not only locally, but at the national level also the establishment of the Church of England is being eroded. My fear is, in the end, nothing will be left but the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

In the past, I have supported the establishment of the Church, but now I have to ask if it is only the forms that are left and the substance rapidly disappearing. If such is the case, is it worth persevering with the trappings of establishment?

Update
I published this article before the Sunday Telegraph leader had appeared: Britain has changed but its values must endure. This includes the sentence:

Bishop Nazir-Ali’s concern that the rapidity and scale of immigration, together with the policy of multiculturalism, threaten Britain’s Christian heritage are echoed by the Church of England General Synod, a majority of which worries that large-scale immigration is “diluting the Christian nature of Britain”.

Is that a majority of the synod, or is that a majority of those who responded? Anyway, according to the Telegraph’s own news report (my emphasis added):

In the Synod survey, to be published this week, bishops, senior clergy and influential churchgoers said that an increasingly multi-faith society threatens the country’s Christian heritage and blamed the divisions on the Government’s failure to integrate immigrants into their communities.

It found that more than one in three believe that a mass influx of people of other faiths is diluting the Christian nature of Britain and only a quarter feel that they have been integrated into society.

The overwhelming majority – 80 per cent – said that the Government has not upheld the place of religion in public life and up to 63 per cent fear that the Church will be disestablished within a generation, breaking a bond that has existed between the Church and State since the Reformation.

Meanwhile, the bishop’s remarks are getting huge attention via the news agencies:

Press Association ‘UK Islamists creating no-go areas’
Associated Press UK Bishop Denounces Islamic Extremism
Agence France-Press ‘No-go’ zones in some Muslim areas: British bishop

and the BBC Bishop warns of ‘Islamic areas’

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John Omani
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John Omani

Nazir-Ali is not far wrong in this case: segregation is a growing problem in cities across the UK, even if the reasons for this are more complicated than he suggests. No doubt the usual suspects will spit fire at +Rochester for speaking the truth, but they should remember that this is a man who has experienced segregation first hand in Pakistan, when his attempts to help persecuted Christians earned him death threats from General Zia and the Muslim hierarchy and resulted in his exile. This is a man who is aware where the politics of Islamic supremacism can lead. There… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

“But none of this will be of any avail if Britain does not recover that vision of its destiny which made it great. That has to do with the Bible’s teaching that we have equal dignity and freedom because we are all made in God’s image.” Beautiful. Now, let’s go for some empathy. We all have dignity and freedom – and that includes females and GLBTs. I read a Jewish article a few years ago that said that one of the travesties of Auswitzch is that Jews were being targetted for abuse, not on the basis of their conduct or… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Seems this bishop is not only an extremist himself, but indeed a very dangerous individual into fear-mongering and division.

Ghastly!

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Bishop Nazir-ali may be wrong on Gafcon, but he is bang on with Islam. A stopped clock can be right twice a day.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Nazir-Ali appears to me to be something of a reflection of the Islamists he dislikes so much. he fails to spot the clear similarities between different religionists of a conservative hue. I see them as all much the same in their wish to receive preference and in their belief that they and they alone possess the ‘truth’ He is typical of the convert. He also fails to recognise that it is the choice of the British people not to follow his type of religion which is why they will not attend church and have little time for extreme religion. After… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

Bishop N-A: “the establishment of the Church of England is being eroded.” Really? A while back, Ekklesia reported that “The Church of England plans to open another 100 church secondary schools by 2011, mainly through the academies programme.” I don’t recall the Bishop being a strident opponent of faith schools, which many have criticised for creating exactly the conditions in society the Bishop complains about in his piece. The C of E did rather well out of it. Bishop N-A: “is it worth persevering with the trappings of establishment?” Could the Bishop be referring to those grand old bishops palaces,… Read more »

Pluralist
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This 80% is of the response rate of 21 per cent of those surveyed? It is news out of nothing.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Disagree with the Islamic-evangelical analogy. When I quit evangelicalism from Rome, my family didn’t threaten me with death. Yes I was frosted out by some friends, but still have good relations with family and most friends. In fact i feel closer to them than a lot of Catholics.

Andrew Brown
Guest

+MNA is not a convert. His father was one. I’m not a huge fan of his, but there is no doubt at all the Christians in Pakistan are persecuted, though no worse than Shi’ites; and it’s not insane to wonder whether the same mentality might not spread here. I would be surprised if there were not streets in Muslim areas which it was dangerous for outsiders to walk down after dark; there are parts of London I wouldn’t walk alone that aren’t muslim, either. Still, I predict that Establishment will become important and much more popular because it means “We’re… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Richard Kirker and others within LGCM have been holding discreet talks with Moslem teachers and religious leaders for over a decade. The most recent sessions of this dialogue were brought to an end last year when death threats were levelled at the Moslem participants. What became apparent to those listening to the Moslems at these meetings is just how vicious and nasty some perverse forms of Islam can be and how the British Government and others like the London Mayor are actually supporting and encouraging some of these evil groups that have taken over many UK mosques in recent years.… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

I’m sorry, perhaps I have misread the above article. Is it possible that a bishop named Nazir-Ali is opposed to immigration?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Back from work I have looked a bit closer at The Sunday Telegraph article by Jonathan Wynn-Jones about the off-hand musings of +Rochester. It is clear that this is not merely a Media piece of sensationalist and irresponsive Journalism. It’s also got roots… For this one Pear did not fall very far from the Apple Tree – it’s a Classic: a Sir Edward Moseley-Brigadier Powell piece of anti Emigration “Britishness first!” scare mongering. ”Britain is being damaged by large-scale immigration.” Just so you know. But the language is guarded, not that of a journalist into sensationalist rubrics. It is also… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Response to Robert:

OTOH, here in the US, I have known families who refused to speak to a relative who switched denominations–So. Baptist to Methodist–let alone into a completely different religion. Not quite death threats, but certainly “shunning” in the old Amish tradition.

Response to Andrew:

Similarly, here in the US, there are orthodox Jewish neighborhoods where it is not safe to drive a car on the Sabbath, whether you are Jewish or not.

The drive to make others follow YOUR rules by the most conservative elements of society is not limited to specific nations or religions.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“The drive to make others follow YOUR rules by the most conservative elements of society is not limited to specific nations or religions.” Quite true. It makes instances of real interfaith conversation and action so much more welcome. In my small town in Virgina, we have a Christian, Muslim, Jewish interfaith group [and there may be others, I’m new to it] that meets once a month over common concerns. Last week we had people from local disaster assistance groups talk to us. We heard about a program in Charlottesville in which churches take a week at a time and open… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Interesting that the strongest critic of Nazir-Ali so far has been the former Conservative party leader, William Hague. I’d like to see his evidence. I think he might well find himself unwelcome, but given some of his expressed views about Islam, a religion he clearly loathes ( and I think his experience when a Roman catholic in Pakistan would have been that of the convert), that’s not too surprising

Incidentally, what’s the difference between the Friday call to prayer and the church bells on a Sunday morning?

I think that it is instructive that an extremist conservative Chriatian criticises conservative islam.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity
By Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester

How perceptive. Extremist Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester writes a essay on the kind of extreme, excluding thinking/believing that keep people AWAY from The Church of England!

What a guy, a real quickstudy, he is, he is as he digs more trenches and isolates more Anglican/other folks wherever he goeth.

He’ll make the round trip to his exclude-a-thon meet-up in Middle East a real opportunity to draw even more dangerous bloodlines in the sand.

A fear/hate-monger he is, a “uniter” he ain’t!

Neil
Guest
Neil

Merseymike – the only difference is the bells go off once a week, and the call to prayer five times a day!

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Not forgetting the Angelus rung two or three times daily in some catholic parishes.

Malcolm+
Guest

Well, Mike Roffen would know about extremism.

Ill considered rants like this are exactly the fuel that Islamic extremists require. Thanks Mike.

What a doufus.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Shunning is a popular tactic, one I have seen first hand. The most startling example was when I joined into banter whilst three of us were counting the weekly tithes one night. To my shock, one of the other woman said “Ignore her, she’s just attention seeking”. Apparently wanting human companionship and to contribute to a church community is only “attention seeking” for souls such as myself. Apparently we have no legitimate emotional needs so people can say and do whatever they want to us. They didn’t just shun me in the parish, the slander campaign spread into other community… Read more »

David
Guest
David

The Christian Muslim Forum has also commented:

http://www.christianmuslimforum.org/subpage.asp?id=276&mainid=20