Bishop Nazir Ali resigns

A sad loss

Michael Nazir-AliMichael Nazir-Ali

Bishop Nazir-Ali is resigning so that he can work for endangered or beleaguered Christian minorities both abroad and in the UK, these are the people that our Archbishop totally ignores. The Bishop has not been in the good books at Lambeth Palace because he makes statements such as:

Christian hospitality has been replaced by the "newfangled and insecurely founded" doctrine of multiculturalism, which has led to immigrants creating "segregated communities and parallel lives".

He talks sensibly:

We must also rebuild our communities; not physically, perhaps, but spiritually, socially and morally. We need an integrated society where common values of dignity, equality, liberty and safety are upheld by all, where there is not only tolerance but hospitality and where the rule of law is recognised by all. We must set our faces against heartless conurbations, dormitory towns and villages. Whether in new communities or old, we should plan for a "heart" in them. In the Thames Gateway development, a large part of which falls within my own diocese, I have been arguing for just such a heart in the "liquid city" which is emerging all around us. Flexible church buildings, which can be used for worship but also for the wider community, can provide such a heart, but so can pubs, post offices and community-minded schools.

Dr Nazir-Ali has accused Muslims of promoting double standards by looking for both 'victimhood and domination'; he has called for powers for officialdom to remove veils from Muslim women for security reasons; and he has warned repeatedly over the dangers of extremism.

In particular he has called on Islamic leaders to allow Muslims to abandon their beliefs and adopt other religions. Dr Nazir-Ali has spoken up for an estimated 3,000 Britons under threat of retaliation for giving up their faith and he has condemned Islamic states that maintain the death penalty for apostasy. He has, of course, had numerous death threats as a result.

Dr Nazir-Ali has been hated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and fĂȘted by those, especially Muslim women, who oppose sharia. He is a conservative, erudite Christian. I may not agree with all his views but, as an atheist I admire him because he talks sense and has clearly stated opinions; in contrast to Archbishop Williams who has fashionably opaque and muddled opinions and a communication style to match.

It was a pity that Dr Nazir Ali did not become Archbishop because he stands up for Christian morality and that, surely, is what a man of the cloth should do.