When a bishop has to leave the Church of England to stand up for Christians, what hope is left for Britain?

* Newsflash:

Jacqui Smith Porn free… but it’s the greed that is truly obscene

* RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Not even in the Augean sleaze of the Major years did we have a Home Secretary claiming porn on expenses

* Humiliation of a minister: Jacqui Smith ‘could face axe’ after claiming taxpayers’ cash for husband’s pornographic films

By Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail

Shock: Michael Nazir-Ali is leaving his post as the Bishop of Rochester      

Shock: Michael Nazir-Ali is leaving his post as the Bishop of Rochester

The resignation of Michael Nazir-Ali as Bishop of Rochester is a terrible blow, not just for the Church of England but for Britain.

The bishop says he is resigning so that he can work for endangered or beleaguered Christian minorities both abroad and in the UK.

* Archbishop Praises Muslims for Bringing ‘Religion’ Back to Britain

* Muslim Muggers Leave British Residents in Fear…

* 180 British Schoolchildren Identified as Potential Terrorists

What a shocking rebuke to the church, that he has to leave his post of influence and authority as a bishop in order to carry out the church’s core duty to defend its own against attack.

Shocking – but hardly surprising. Across the world, in countries such as Nigeria and Sudan, millions of Christians are being persecuted at the hands of militant Islam, with forced conversions, the burning of churches and widespread violence. 

Yet in the face of this global onslaught, the Church of England makes scarcely a peep of protest.

Worse still, when Dr Nazir-Ali warned last year that Islamic extremists had created ‘no-go areas’ across Britain where non-Muslims faced intimidation, he was disowned by his fellow churchmen who all but declared that he was a liar – even though he was telling the truth.



For this act of moral courage, he and his family had to be put under police protection, while his own church left him to swing in the wind of bigotry and intimidation. 

Dr Nazir-Ali is one of the very few inside the church to make explicit the link between Christian and British values, and to warn publicly that they are being destroyed through the prevailing doctrine of multiculturalism. 

That strong voice of protest has never been needed more than it is now. For Christianity in Britain is under attack from all sides. 

Last month, the bishop protested that the arrival in Britain of so many from other faiths had led to the closure of chapels, the retrenchment of Christian chaplaincy and the advent of a ‘doctrinaire multi-faithism’ – not through pressure from the incoming minorities, but from British secularists who wanted to destroy Christianity. 

That agenda is becoming ever more oppressive. Yesterday, it was revealed that a Christian council worker was suspended for encouraging a terminally ill woman to turn to God. He says he was also told it was inappropriate to ‘talk about God’ with a client and that he should not even say ‘God bless’.

This follows the case of the nurse who was suspended for offering to pray for an elderly patient’s recovery, the Christian who lost her role on an adoption panel because she disapproved of gay adoption, and Christian adoption agencies which lost their public funding because they had the same approach.

With multiculturalism discriminating in favour of all who challenge the established values of this country, it would appear that it is Christians who have become the oppressed minority. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams       

Defender of the faith: Dr Rowan Williams, has told the BBC Director General that the corporation should not ignore its Christian audience

At every level, Christianity is being displaced from its core position in this country’s national story. The BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson, sent dog-collars spinning last year when he suggested that the media should treat Islam more sensitively than Christianity.

Now the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has protested to Mr Thompson that the BBC must not ignore its Christian audience. Recently, it sacked its head of religious programmes, Methodist preacher Michael Wakelin.

The emergence of a Muslim as the frontrunner to succeed him, along with the recent appointment of a Sikh to produce Songs Of Praise, has deepened fears within the church that Christianity is being sidelined.

Meanwhile the Government is flirting with changing the Act of Settlement so that it no longer ‘discriminates’ against Catholics – for all the world as if the monarchy is a council diversity outreach programme. But Protestantism is a core element of this country’s identity. 


No wonder the Queen – as opposed to Prince Charles, who notoriously said he wanted to be not ‘Defender of the Faith’ but ‘defender of faith’ – is reportedly not amused.

But it’s no use Dr Williams squeaking in protest at the BBC when the church’s habitual posture towards the onslaught is to sink to its knees with its cassock over its head.

Take for example the proposal by a regular churchgoer that the churches should ring their bells on St George’s Day, to proclaim that the Christian element of English identity is in robust health.

Only five out of the church’s 44 bishops back the plan while the rest have scuttled for cover. The Bishop of Chester frets about the danger of such ‘public displays’ of confidence, while the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds murmurs faintly: ‘I am not sure assertiveness is a Christian value.’

Such cultural cringe would be comical were it not so tragic. For this is precisely how the church has all but destroyed itself. Instead of asserting its core beliefs against aggressive secularism, it has tried to accommodate its own destroyer.

As a result, it stopped doing God and spirituality and holding the line for Biblical values and mutated instead into a branch of nonjudgmental social work – a kind of Guardian newspaper at prayer. The resulting moral vacuum now threatens not just the church but the nation itself.

Although most people may no longer be churchgoers, Christianity infuses all this country’s institutions, traditions and values.

These have been systematically attacked by a secular culture of unlimited self-indulgence and self-destructive behaviour, resulting in the collapse of the married family, rising crime, drug and alcohol abuse and a grievous erosion of the sanctity of human life.

With the church refusing to assert itself, this vacuum has allowed radical Islam to promote itself as an influential force in public life. Indeed it is rubbing its hands at the opportunity. And in the longer term that risks destroying our basic values of individual freedom and equality – and with them the identity of Britain itself. 


Dr Nazir-Ali understands this very clearly. This might be thought all the more remarkable since he was born not in Britain but in Pakistan. But that is precisely why he does understand what is at stake.

Back in the Eighties, he warned of the rise of radical Islamism. No-one listened. Now he urges an ‘ideological battle’ against fundamentalist Islam, which he likens to the Western struggle against Marxism. But the church still isn’t listening, and is falling over itself to accommodate it instead.

Thus Dr Williams’s lamentable statement that there was no reason why sharia law should not be accepted in Britain over certain areas of Muslim life – thereby abandoning British Muslim women, in particular, to the miseries of the second-class existence dictated by such religious law.

Dr Nazir-Ali’s outspoken opposition to such developments has made him powerful enemies within the church. Last summer, a group of influential churchmen met to work out how to sideline those ‘aggressive’ Christians who were ‘increasing the level of fear’ by talking about the threat from radical Islam. Among those in their sights was the Bishop of Rochester.

In any sane world, Michael Nazir-Ali – a church leader whose intellect is matched by his courage and insight – should be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury to defend our society at this most dangerous time. Instead, he is out.

The question now arises whether he will become the effective leader of the church in the Third World, which is on the edge of schism over gay rights and women priests.

If that were to happen, he could become a formidable adversary of the current craven church leadership and the prevailing doctrine of appeasement and religious submission.

But for the meantime, his departure threatens to make the church even more irrelevant, and its capacity to prevent this country from going under weaker than ever before.

4 thoughts on “When a bishop has to leave the Church of England to stand up for Christians, what hope is left for Britain?”

  1. I have met Bishop Michael. Back when he was being criticised for blowing the whistle about Muslim-controlled ‘no go zones’ in British cities, I went to his diocesan website and sent him an email letter of commendation and support. Some time after that, he visited my hometown and I heard him speak on two occasions – a public lecture (attended by hundreds of people, not all of them churchgoers) and a more private gathering at a theological college. On the second occasion I was able to speak briefly with him face-to-face.

    I encourage everyone here to write to him as soon as possible and thank him for what he has done and said to raise the alarm about sharia creep in the UK. Let him know that he has not laboured entirely in vain.

    One should not forget that he has written books which are sold in church bookshops and read by the faithful; these and the works of Canon Dr Patrick Sookhdeo will continue to instruct and to warn. Christians reading this should consider buying Bishop Michael’s and Canon Sookhdeo’s books and presenting said books to your parish priest, vicar, parson or minister, and also placing them in your church’s library.

    PS – re. the proposal to ring bells on St George’s Day – an excellent idea. And not just on St George’s Day! The Welsh should do it on St David’s Day; the Irish on St Patrick’s; the Scots on St Andrews’; the Christians of continental Europe should look up their patron saints and ring the bells on their feast days (e.g., I think St Denis is the patron saint of France, and St Nicholas, of the Netherlands).

    Indeed, ringing church bells loud and long on every imaginable occasion both sad and joyful is a good way for all countries with a substantial Christian presence and history to assert anti-dhimmitude (in Muslim lands, dhimmis were forbidden the use of church bells; Jews could not blow the shofar).

  2. A further note. I observe that within the article Ms Phillips notes that when a C of E layperson proposed the ringing of bells on St George’s Day, five bishops were in favour.

    I think we should find out exactly *which five* brave men these are; they should then be inundated with messages of approval and commendation, not only from fellow Christians who agree with their stand, but from all persons of good will who understand the importance of *not* behaving like grovelling dhimmis.

    When and if you find out who they are, and write to them, make sure to cite the relevant passage from the ‘Pact of Omar’, the template of all subsequent draconian Rules for Dhimmis, which among other things forbade the ringing of church bells (and which also sought to suppress loud hymn-singing, and to forbid the conduct of public religious processions). Suggest to them therefore that in their bishoprics, every kind of un-dhimmi behaviour should be engaged in.

    Not only should the church bells be rung on every conceivable occasion (change-ringing in particular should be encouraged!), but such things as Palm Sunday processions, Christmas carolling and wassailing from door to door, the beating of the bounds, and outdoor passion plays and nativity plays, should be undertaken, in the interests of reclaiming public space and defying the Muslim demand that dhimmis – practitioners of non-Muslim faiths, in Muslim-dominated regions – must cower in corners, heads down and mouths shut, and grovel abjectly before their strutting and sneering Muslim lords and masters.

    Pace the proto-dhimmi bishops of Chester and of Ripon and Leeds, a gutsy assertiveness – flowing from calm confidence – is just what the Christians – and for that matter, the Jews, and all other sensible non-Muslims in Britain – need, right now.

    Assertiveness, courage, is not the same thing as arrogance or overweening pride. Jesus didn’t sneer at Pilate; nor did he grovel, cringe and whimper; he seems to have stood before him and talked to him man to man, as if all the might of imperial Rome simply didn’t exist or didn’t matter. And a good hard look at the lives of all the better-known Saints ancient and modern suggests that they were far from mealy-mouthed, and that a holy boldness – and a willingness to get up the noses of all kinds of evil people – marked their careers.

  3. “But it’s no use Dr Williams squeaking in protest at the BBC when the church’s habitual posture towards the onslaught is to sink to its knees with its cassock over its head. ”

    Interesting that Melanie would reiterate something Enoch Powell once said.

    “There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it “against discrimination”, whether they be leader-writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads”

  4. The Bishop of Chester and the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds would do well to read, and take to heart, the following wise words from another member of the Anglican Communion, Rev Dr Mark Durie of Australia, author of “Revelation? Do We Worship the Same God? Jesus, Holy Spirit, God in Christianity and Islam”. Rev Durie has lived and worked among the fiercely Muslim Acehnese.

    In his essay “Dhimmitude of the West”, in Mr Spencer’s anthology “The Myth of Islamic Tolerance”, Dr Mark Durie writes (I quote, at length, because it is important):

    “The requirement that dhimmis afirm and serve Islam greatly limits the repertoire of responses that dhimmified Christians can have toward it.

    “Where there are grounds for confrontation, the only way of struggling permitted to the dhimmi is by saying soft things. [hmm – it appears the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds – “I am not sure assertiveness is a Christian value.’ – has absorbed the dhimmi attitude].

    “Such political correctness is itself an injustice that needs to be exposed and challenged. This dynamic, when combined with the meanings of ‘struggle’ (jihad) that Islam claims as by divine right without apology of any kind, can intimidate and debilitate Christians who are free and do not live under Islam.

    “The cumulative effect can be that the gross injustices come to seem as somehow excusable or unexceptional. An infamous example is the weak international response today to the persecution of non-Muslims [not just Christians] under Islam… [Dr Durie then cites, as an example of the classic dhimmi attitude, a statement by Mary Robinson in 2002]

    “Observe…dhimmi themes of gratitude, affirmation of moral superiority of Islam (with the implications of inferiority of the infidel), and the denial of any possible voice of protest against human rights abuses in Islamic state.

    “It is a classic dhimmi strategy to avoid confrontation {hmm: does this remind us of the Bishop of Chester?] by affirming what is best in Islam. Change for the better is only allowed to arise from values that Muslims can see as springing from their faith itself.
    “This strategy conceals and disempowers the moral worth of non-Muslim value systems. It is the strategy of those whose existence is marginal and threatened.

    “For those living in liberal democracies, this is not in the end a healthy way to engage with the ‘other’ that is Islam. [NOTA BENE, O Bishops of Chester and of Ripon and Leeds!].

    “It establishes a framework in which Islam takes on the role of a dominator that expects to be praised, admired and stroked. The reaction to deserved criticism, when it manages to find a voice, can be shock, denial, and outrage”.
    “*For Christians there is a special challenge here* {my emphasis added – dda}.
    “In adapting to this [dhimmi] requirement of grateful service, Christians can interpret their own submissiveness in gospel categories of forgiveness and service.

    “*But from the Islamic side this just looks like ‘submission’* {my emphasis added – dda}; that is, the program of Islam itself is working. Islam interprets such submissiveness as its rightful due, not as an expression of grace, and affords itself the privilege of feeling gracious. Likewise, international aid is interpreted as tribute, a rightful due. This perception is reinforced when the most peaceful Islamic nations receive the least aid…

    “Appeasement and the ‘softly, softly’ approach only buys time. Sooner or later the will to dominance inherent in the jihad stream of the Qur’an and Sunna will rear its head when a faithful believer reads the Qur’an and finds that it says to struggle against unbelievers and subjugate them.

    “Frank exposure and criticism offers the best way to contain this outcome.”

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