By Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester. I liked this. I'll just give you a sample of some of my favourite bits, and a flavour of the comments. Michael Nazir-Ali was born in Pakistan of Muslim parents, became a Christian, was a parish priest in both the UK and Pakistan, the first bishop of Rawind in Pakistan and became Bishop of Rochester (we like Rochester) in 1994. I have not yet had the privilege of hearing him preach, which defect I hope to remedy one day.
Islamic radicalism did not begin with Muslim grievances over Western foreign policy in Iraq or Afghanistan. It has deep roots, going back to the 13th-century reformer Ibn Taimiyya, through Wahhabism to modern ideologues such as Sayyid Qutb in Egypt or Maududi in Pakistan.
One of their most important aims is to impose their form of Islam on countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia. This may be why they were not regarded as an immediate threat to the West. Their other aims, however, include the liberation of oppressed Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and elsewhere, and also the recovery of the Dar Al-Islam (or House of Islam), in its historic wholeness, including the Iberian peninsula, the Balkans and even India. In this cause, the rest of the world, particularly the West, is Dar al-Harb (House of War).
Finally, there are the grievances. Some of these are genuine enough, but the complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene where Muslims are victims (as in Bosnia or Kosovo), and always wrong when they may be the oppressors or terrorists (as with the Taliban or in Iraq), even when their victims are also mainly Muslims.
Whether we like it or not, characteristic British values arise out of the Christian faith and its vision of personal and common good. These were clarified by the Enlightenment and became the bed-rock of our modern political arrangements. The Enlightenment, however, by consigning Christianity to the private sphere, also removed the basis and justification for these values in the public sphere.
The comments are illuminating. Most are in agreement. Like this one.
The Bishop of Rochester articulates what sounds to me like an eloquent, contemporary Christian view. He is to be commended for it. His credentials are matchless. I'm sure that any Muslim seeking freedom from the faith that binds them tight and condemns them to endless conflict, would find profound understanding and a sincere welcome under the Bishop's roof. And Peace.
Posted by sebastian on August 15, 2006 8:25 AM
Others realise that what he has said is correct, and thus the game is up, so to speak.
The idea of a Christian bishop and a former Muslim to boot being an objective commetator on Muslim affairs is ludicrous - but since Im a Muslim doubt I'll get to have a say on here what Muslims think!! He even uses the hoary old Dar ul-Islam /Dar ul Harb argument thereby implying Muslims cant be loyal citizens of this country- why doesnt this "expert on Islam" know that there was always countires that were "dar ul suhl" (place of agreement) i.e those that Muslims were free to practice their religion in such as Britain or that Muslim countires had treaties with
Posted by Munir on August 15, 2006 5:18 PM