Biskop Michael Nazir-Ali, velkjent i Storbritannia, hadde oppsiktsvekkende ord til en katolsk forsamling sist søndag:
Med ekspansjonen av et krigersk islam og forfølgelsen av kristne over hele kloden, begynner mange mennesker å lytte til stemmer fra Roma som kan motvirke. Dette inkluderer mange evangelisk kristne som aldri før har hatt pavekirken i tankene. Så Den katolske kirke har nå en stor mulighet, men også et stort ansvar.
Den anglikanske kirke har omsider klaget til statsminister Cameron om at Storbritannias Midtøsten-politikk er «usammenhengende». Men det er kanskje ikke helt tilfeldig at den som tør si klarest ifra, er en biskop født i et muslimsk land som Pakistan?
Nazir-Ali har i mange år vært en frittalende biskop som ikke har vært redd for å sette ord på tabuer:
The Church of England’s only Asian bishop, whose father converted from Islam, has criticized many Muslims for their «dual psychology» in which they desire both «victimhood and domination». In the most outspoken critique of Muslims by a church leader, the Bishop of Rochester said that because of this view it would never be possible to satisfy all their demands. «Their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims, as in Bosnia or Kosovo, and always wrong when the Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists, as with the Taliban… Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made.»
Islamic extremists have created «no-go» areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter… people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.
In fewer than 50 years, Britain has changed from being a society with an acknowledged Christian basis to one which is increasingly described by politicians and the media as «multifaith». One reason for this is the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to these shores. Their arrival has coincided with the end of the Empire which brought about a widespread questioning of Britain’s role. On the one hand, the British were losing confidence in the Christian vision which underlay most of the achievements and values of the culture and, on the other, they sought to accommodate the newer arrivals on the basis of a novel philosophy of «multiculturalism». This required that people should be facilitated in living as separate communities, continuing to communicate in their own languages and having minimum need for building healthy relationships with the majority.
It is indeed ironic that Britain had to cope with large numbers of people from other faiths and cultures arriving at exactly the time when there was a catastrophic loss of Christian discourse. Thus Christian hospitality, which should have welcomed the new arrivals on the basis of Britain’s Christian heritage, to which they would be welcome to contribute, was replaced by the newfangled and insecurely founded doctrine of multiculturalism. This offered “tolerance” rather than hospitality, in some cases benign neglect rather than engagement, and an emphasis on cultural and religious distinctiveness rather than integration.