01/07/2008, 00.00
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Multiculturalism promoting Islamic extremism, says Anglican bishop

The Pakistani-born prelate argues that multiculturalism has created “no-go” areas for non Muslims in Britain. Political choices and financial difficulties are undermining Christian facilities in schools, prisons and hospitals.

London (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The promotion of a multicultural and multi-faith society under successive British governments in the name of the separation of the state and religion has ended up fuelling Islamic extremism, creating “no-go areas” in Britain for non-Muslims, this according to Pakistani-born Michael Nazir-Ali, the Church of England's bishop of Rochester in south-eastern England.

In an article published in the Sunday Telegraph, the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to the island nation and the loss of confidence in the Christian vision and values has led Britain’s political leaders to believe that the multicultural model would be best to accommodate and integrate immigrants. Instead is has produced “separate areas.”

Alongside these developments, there has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into ‘no-go’ areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability.

Furthermore, there “is pressure already to relate aspects of the Sharia to civil law in Britain,” and to “some extent this is already true of arrangements for Sharia-compliant banking.”

One result according to the Anglican prelate, is that it “is now less possible for Christianity to be the public faith in Britain.”

Indeed, the “existence of chapels and chaplaincies in places such as hospitals, prisons and institutions of further and higher education is in jeopardy either because of financial cuts or because the authorities want ‘multi-faith’ provision, without regard to the distinctively Christian character of the nation's laws, values, customs and culture.”

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