Monday, 7 January 2008

Nazir-Ali: further reactions

Updated again Wednesday morning

The Lancashire Telegraph which is based in Blackburn has Mixed reaction to Bishop’s no-go zone comments.

The BBC has Blears rejects ‘no go’ area claim. On that same page, there is an audio report broadcast on the World at One radio news programme at lunchtime today. This includes an interview by Christopher Landau with the Bishop of Rochester. The relevant government minister Hazel Blears and Bishop Stephen Lowe are also interviewed by Martha Kearney.

At Comment is free there are two articles:

Inayat Bunglawala Don’t go there

By accusing Muslims of creating ‘no-go’ zones in the UK for non-Muslims, the Bishop of Rochester is stirring up racial hatred, pure and simple.


Andrew Brown A narrow church

The Church of England has lost its traditional social framework. It may yet come to stand for an England that is, above all, not a Muslim country.

Tuesday morning update

Bradford Telegraph & Argus No-go area suggestion ‘scaremongering’:

Bradford community leaders have accused an Anglican Bishop of “scaremongering” after he claimed certain areas across the UK had become no-go areas for non-Muslims…

…The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend David James, said: “I was dismayed to read the inflammatory headline in a Sunday newspaper claiming that Islamic extremists have created no go areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non Muslims to enter’. We certainly do not recognise this supposed reality in Bradford.

“Of course, we are aware that there are difficulties arising from a significant measure of residential and cultural separation across communities, especially in the inner city. However, this has generated a range of imaginative initiatives such as the nationally-recognised Linking Schools Project, and the University’s Programme for a Peaceful City - to name but a few.”

And the Daily Telegraph has a leader, Bishop of Rochester leads the way.

Wednesday morning

Jonathan Petre Daily Telegraph Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali stands by his views:

…speaking from India, where he is attending a conference, the bishop claimed successive governments had failed to foster an “integrating vision” for Britain.

He said he was echoing concerns voiced by Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality Commission, and those in the 2001 Cantle Report on the race riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 7 January 2008 at 9:54pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

I don't know why the Telegraph is worried about knee-jerk reactions to avoid offending Muslims.

They don't seem to give a damn if it is women, GLBTs, Christian ethnic enclaves, or other ethnic or religious groupings.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 8:47am GMT

I would like to see Michael Nazi Ali reprimanded if not sacked and deported back to his native Pakistan.

How can we put our hand on our heart and confront Islam's preachers of hate when we have one hate preacher in our own midst.

Posted by: Nicholas on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 12:07pm GMT

To say that ther are no no-go areas in Bradford is pure wishful thinking by politicians and religious leaders. does anyone remember the riots a few yeas ago or further back the book burnings? There is nothing about democracy or free speech in the Koran.

Posted by: David on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 12:11pm GMT

Because political correctness, a phrase I don't use very often, isn't about consideration for others, it's about publically being "sensitive" to the things you are told to be "sensitive" to. Anyone not on the "sensitivity list" so to speak, is fair game. Christians are, not entirely undeservedly given our history, not on the sensitivity list, thus it is OK to be disrespectful. As to why Islam IS on the list, well, that just goes to show there's no rhyme nor reason, no underlying moral code, to political correctness, it's all about public acceptability. It's not as if Christianity is the only religion in history to abuse power and brutalize the common people.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 1:02pm GMT

Nicolas "I would like to see Michael Nazi Ali reprimanded if not sacked and deported back to his native Pakistan."

* Have you *read* the Telegraph article?
* On the basis of the Telegraph article, on what grounds should +Rochester be reprimanded?
* On the basis of the Telegraph article, on what grounds should +Rochester be sacked?
* On what grounds should +Rochester be deported to Pakistan?

I think your comment shows rather more hate than +Rochester exhibited in his article. Motes and beams...

Posted by: Stephen Roberts on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 1:21pm GMT

"There is nothing about democracy or free speech in the Koran."

Nor in the Bible for that matter. Your point?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 2:10pm GMT

"....deported back to his native Pakistan". Let's try not to get down on their level, Nicholas.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 at 2:27pm GMT

I think it's important to remember that Mike (Nazir Ali) did face real discrimination and persecution in Pakistan, as a Christian. it's important to remember that Christians in many Muslim countries may be at risk, whether they are converts or were born as Christians. there are flaws in the ways many Muslims interpret their faith's teachings on inter-faith relations.

I'm not, of course, trying to excuse Mike's obvious Islamophobia. it does not good to UK Christians and Muslims who are trying to find common ground. I pray that other UK religious leaders will act to reach out to the 'other' communities.

Posted by: Weiwen on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 at 1:33pm GMT

The most telling comment has come from Muslim friends who suggest that the call for Muslim imams /religious leaders to be British born and bred ( rather than from Pakistan) so that they can understand and appreciate the nuances of British muslim experience that perhaps the same should apply to Anglican Bishops - this is harsh on + Michael but it does make you wonder how he understands Christian Britain - further question about his intention on the blog:

Posted by: Tom Allen on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 at 11:13pm GMT

In response to Tom, Nazir-Ali fails to understand two things.

First, that it is not the job of Government to promote his religion

Second, that the vast majority of indigenous Britain sees religion as something private and heartily dislikes religious extremists of any variety - thus they see little difference between him and conservative Muslims.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 12:45am GMT

I'm still not clear what he means by 'no-go' areas. Where are these places?

Posted by: joe on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 8:39am GMT

I don't think that the Bishop of Rochester's comments are helpful. Talking to my colleagues at the House of Bishops (including the Bishops of Leicester, Blackburn, Burnley, Ripon & Leeds and Bradford), none of us would say that there are any such things as "no go areas". We enjoy very good relationships with Muslim leaders in our localities, and would want to affirm the important work that is being done in building community and in dialogue.

There are, of course, some Islamicists around, and the Bishop of Rochester, with his Pakistani background, is only too aware of the dangers of Muslims being encouraged to embrace a fundamentalist point of view. But our experience of working in alliance with the Muslim Council of Britain and other Christian-Muslim networks, as well as our experience of everyday contact with fellow religious leaders in our cities, simply does not square with what the Bishop of Rochester is suggesting. Unfortunately, his words are too readily picked up by Telegraph and Mail readers as though he is speaking authentically about identifiable situations in the UK.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 2:38pm GMT
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