Bishop's 'No Go' Warning; Bishop Nazir-Ali: 'Extremism'

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Doughty

ISLAMIC extremists have turned parts of Britain into no-go areas fornon-Muslims, a Church of England bishop claims.

The charge by the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali infuriated Islamic groups,who accused him yesterday of whipping up hatred against Muslims.

The bishop's remarks also triggered a wave of arguments among political leadersover the spread of religious separatism and the damage caused by the Left-wingdoctrine of multiculturalism.

Dr Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and a senior Anglican who has advised thePrince of Wales on Islam, said it had become hard for those who are not Muslimsto live or work in some areas.

He warned against the acceptance in this country of Sharia laws based on theKoran and added that amplified calls to prayer from mosques are imposing anIslamic char- acter on surrounding areas. .

from mosques are imposing an Islamic acter on surrounding areas.

And he complained of the 'multi-faith mish-mash' promoted by the Government andblamed it for undermining the influence of Christianity.

The bishop's attack on aggressive Islamic leaders brought condemnation fromprominent Muslim groups. One called for the Church of England to take 'seriousaction' against him.

But Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the bishop had exposed 'a deeplyserious problem'.

He added that Government confusion 'risks encouraging radicalism and creatinghome-grown terrorism'.

Dr Nazir-Ali, who grew up in Pakistan where he suffered harassment for his ownChristian faith, warned of no-go areas in an article in the Sunday Telegraph.

He spoke of 'a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism' andadded: 'One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young fromthe nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separatecommunities into "no-go" areas where adherence to this ideology has become amark of acceptability.' The bishop added: 'Those of a different faith or racemay find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them. Inmany ways, this is the other side of the coin of far-Right intimidation.' DrNazir-Ali said that using amplification for the call to prayer from mosques wasan attempt to impose Islam on an area.

This, he said, raised the question of 'whether non-Muslims wish to be told thecreed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker.

'This is happening here even though some Muslim-majority communities are tryingto reduce noise levels from multiple mosques announcing this call, one afterthe other, over quite a small geographical area. …