“Radical Islam is threatening to fill a ‘moral vacuum’ in Britain as a result of a decline of Christian values,” says The Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali.
Behind this scaremongering is a much more duplicitous agenda.
The bishop is attempting to rally all those lapsed and apathetic Anglicans – who, frankly, probably don’t even think about religion other than during hatched, matched or dispatched ceremonies, to the cause.
‘Civilisation needs you to be Christian’ he seems to be saying.
This is a predictable reaction to the Church’s increasing irrelevance as society migrates towards secularism. In an attempt to corral support, he needs to turn people of other religions – principally Muslims – into scapegoats.
He is trying to force people to define themselves by their religion – or worse – by the religious tradition they were born into – whether or not they still embrace it.
His ambition is to make “Christian values” synonymous with “Western Values” – even though the two are often at odds with each other.
Ironically, his efforts to drag lapsed Anglicanism, kicking and screaming, back into the political centre-stage makes him the mirror image of this “Radical Islam” he wants to fight. To make sense of world events, we have to separate Islam from Political Islamists. Soon we will be speaking of ‘Political Christianists’ in everyday discourse too.
Michael Nazir-Ali might be holed up in an empty cathedral rather than the mountains of Afghanistan, but his ideology is just as cavernous.
‘Jihadi vs. Crusader’ sounds like a good Xbox game. It doesn’t need to play out for real in Britain, or anywhere.