Saturday, 7 June 2008

Damian Thompson: Islam, not gays, will split the Church

Will Islam replace homosexuality as the big issue that sets Anglicans – and Christians in general – at each other’s throats? It’s beginning to look that way.

My guess is that the Bishop of Rochester’s fiery opposition to radical Islam will prove a louder rallying cry for conservative Anglicans attending (or boycotting) the Lambeth Conference than African anti-gay rhetoric. Bishop Gene Robinson’s wedding arrangements pale into insignificance compared to the persecution of Christians by Muslims – and the liberal establishment’s myopic response to it.

The rise of the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali has taken everyone by surprise. As our religion editor George Pitcher points out, he is now an internationally celebrated but divisive figure, regarded in some circles as a Right-wing bigot. That isn’t why he was passed over for Canterbury, however: he didn’t get the job because he campaigned too hard for it and put people’s backs up with his pomposity.

He’s no great scholar, but he did study Islamic history at Karachi University, and that has enabled him to understand the essentially intransigent nature of Islam. This is his great contribution to public life – for, so far as I am aware, no other Church of England diocesan bishop is prepared to accept that “radical” Islam is more historically authentic and representative of the modern Islamic world than the “moderate” variety. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

No comments: