Comments: Rochester: media coverage

You got to love Damian Thompson. He's like Cato, ending every speech, article and blog post with "Islamo delenda est"

Posted by Justin Lewis-Anthony at Saturday, 28 March 2009 at 6:35pm GMT

I'm not sure what is most horrifying: Damian Thompson's column, or the comments under it.

Ruth Gledhill reports that the Bishop is leaving "to build bridges between Christians and Muslims" in Pakistan. This is undoubtedly a worthy motive, though it is questionable how far he has gone to achieve that goal in this country.

Posted by rjb at Saturday, 28 March 2009 at 8:07pm GMT

"Much of his new work will involve minority Christian groups in Pakistan - where he was born -and in the Middle East, but Nazir-Ali is thought to be keen to retain a domestic role in Britain as well." - Ruth Gledhill - Times online -

One can only hope that Bishop Nazir-ali's new role in Pakistan will be eirenic in nature, and not quite so full-one aggressiave towards Muslims as his prectice in the U.K. He needs to examine the ABC's policy on inter-religious dialogue, which should stand him in better stead than his strongly oppositional stance up until now.

One wonders what sort of role he might be given in the Church of England now. Perhaps it would be better for him to concentrate on his evangelical gifts in his native land, where he might be able to help the small Christian community to grow - not by aggressive policies, but by peaceful dialogue. "They will know you are my disciples by your love" - was the word of Jesus. Disciples were never won by confrontational tactics. What the world needs is unity - not uniformity.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 28 March 2009 at 11:55pm GMT

Nice to see that the Mail on Sunday has become colour-blind - "only black bishop" - don't tell Sentamu!

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Sunday, 29 March 2009 at 6:52am GMT

That headline has since been changed, as noted above.

What is even weirder about it though, is that the story was first published with a correct headline, some time prior to 10.30 pm Saturday, viz

Church of England's most outspoken and only Asian Bishop is to quit

and that headline was then changed to be wrong!

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Sunday, 29 March 2009 at 11:37am GMT

Clearly positioning himself to be the new UK leader of any new body which comes into existence - the Akinolite Jensenist tendency.

The Church of England should celebrate!

Posted by Merseymike at Sunday, 29 March 2009 at 8:54pm GMT

re: Melanie Phillips article
But it sells papers...

Posted by dodgey_vicar at Monday, 30 March 2009 at 12:11pm BST

My best guess for now is that the ex-Rochester - now with a title rather like a Stradivarius identifier? - will be keeping his options open. Thus flexibly positioned he can consider whatever the right wings of global Anglicanism can offer. This ranges across positions and situations, no doubt.

From a virtual reality position - but above xDuncan? - in leading the so-called emergent third province in North America? (But how will turning up the hot button polarizations with Islam actually help in USA? Would we see a new anti-Islam campaign on the USA rights as larger context for helping the new province find new people to target? Winning new souls to Christ by calling new people, new foul names?)

To Paki return, right when USA policy is pumping money, calling for accountability/transparency, seeking measure-able outcomes, and oh yes, trying to be a big tent diplomacy outfit under new President Obama? Will painting all Islam with evil-terrorist colors actually help, even back in Pakistan? When the announced USA hope is that Islamic moderates can be peeled off from El Quaida? Or from Talibanist communities?

To any number of other options?

Problem is, I cannot quite see how the Ex-Rochester's commitments to targeting, rightwing hegemony in scripture-reading, and determined small tent conservative Anglican manners will help build up anybody in the long, long, long run.

Maybe it is all down to an impending power vacuum on the Anglican rights - as rightwing dissenters in USA slowly but surely lose their property claims court cases, as neither TEC nor Canada immediately dries up to fade away into oblivion without rightwing shenanigans of all kinds, and as Akinola retires, and as Africa continues to suffer in so many ways that are nearly beyond comprehension. Unentangled, Nazir-Ali is positioned to be holy rightwing man of the global Anglican moment. Stay tuned. But rest assured, it will still be the same old thang, no matter what else seems to change on the Anglican rights: Dug in, way too deep, those rights.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 30 March 2009 at 8:15pm BST
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