Bishop warns of 'no-go' areas for non-Muslims
His latest warning is that ‘Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter’. Having lived for many years in Pakistan, he is fully aware of the religio-political strategy of marking out territory and then proclaiming it to belong to the Dar al-Islam, and that ‘people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology’.
He goes to the very heart of the matter when he observes that the enforced ‘submission’ to this ideology - including that which is perceived through legal and political omission, or the perpetual propagation of a multi-faith, multicultural society - is making it ‘increasingly difficult for Christianity to be the nation's public religion’. And his concerns are shared by the General Synod, which has recently voted on a number of issues and concluded that Britain is being damaged by large-scale immigration. The overwhelming majority - 80 per cent – thought that the Government had not upheld the place of religion in public life, and 63 per cent fear that the Church will be disestablished within a generation.
Doubtless referring to the demands for the Adhan to reverberate over Oxford, and in the knowledge of the development of Shari'a courts in parts of the UK, the Bishop warns that ‘attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character by introducing the call to prayer and wider use of sharia law, a legal system based on the Koran’. And echoing the Old Testament prophets he decries the Government's response to immigration and the influx of ‘people of other faiths to these shores’.
Interestingly, the Shadow Home Secretary, the Rt Hon David Davis MP, has also accused Muslims of promoting a kind of ‘voluntary apartheid’ by segregating themselves in distinct communities and demanding immunity from criticism. He said: "Bishop Nazir-Ali has drawn attention to a deeply serious problem. The Government's confused and counter-productive approach risks creating a number of closed societies instead of one open, cohesive one. It generates the risk of encouraging radicalisation and creating home-grown terrorism." Unfortunately, he does not propose any policies to deal with the situation. Carping opposition without viable resolution does not constitute credible alternative governance.
Calls for the disestablishment of the Church of England have grown since research a few weeks ago showed that attendance at Mass has overtaken the number of worshippers at Church of England Sunday services. Unfortunately, the Bishop made no mention of the influx of Roman Catholics from Poland which has contributed to this state of affairs, mindful, perhaps, that as a convert from Rome, he risks accusations of bigotry.
But his father converted from Islam to Roman Catholicism, and this generational gap appears to give him greater freedom. And his comments have attracted the inevitable criticism from the the Muslim Council of Britain, whose spokesman called the Bishop ‘irresponsible’, suffering from ‘extreme ignorance’, and that ‘he should accept that Britain is a multicultural society in which we are free to follow our religion.’ He then asserts: ‘We wouldn't allow “no-go” areas to happen.’
It is in this final statement that the ‘extreme ignorance’ of the MCB is manifest, for ‘no-go’ areas have been developing for decades, and any kuffar who dare to walk in these areas do so at their peril. Even the police are providing these areas with ‘ethnically sensitive’ officers - ie Muslim police officers for Muslim areas - if only to avoid accusations of ‘racism’ should a Muslim need arresting, for God forbid that a white officer should now arrest an black or brown criminal.
But the wider reality is that the United Kingdom has always had religious ‘no-go’ areas. One only has to observe the experiences of Protestants who dare to walk in ‘Catholic areas’ of Belfast, or of a Roman Catholics who try to live in ‘Protestant areas’; or the antipathy expressed by Roman Catholic schoolchildren to their Protestant counterparts in parts of Scotland; or the abuse endured by Roman Catholic footballers who dare to play for ‘Protestant’ teams – the United Kingdom has been disunited along religious lines for decades, and these divisions endured for centuries before the Act of Settlement and the Act of Union attempted to end the strife.
If the lessons of history teach us anything, it is that human sympathy spreads outwards from individuals to families, then to extended families and friends, and onwards to form communities, regions and countries, as people discover common ties of kinship, language, culture and religion. God made the nations with diverse qualities, and these variations of national characteristics and cultures display a wonder of creation. The story of the Tower of Babel establishes that segregation occurs along these lines, and experience teaches that the nation state is the best way of preserving peace. All attempts to re-build a unified tower – be it in a multicultural, multi-faith Britain, or the diminution and subjugation of the nation state within European union - are doomed to failure.