07 Jan 2008
The MCB deeply regrets the incendiary comments recently made by the Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali. His assertion that British Muslims have created ‘No Go areas’ in some parts of Britain is not borne out in any credible research; the remarks are alarming and serve only to benefit the far right.
Across the country, British Muslims are seeking common cause with their neighbours, sharing and living with peoples of other faiths. Local inter faith groups are coming together to seek mutual understanding and work for the common good. We need to encourage and work hard to foster this area of work, rather than create mistrust and suspicion. Dr Nazir-Ali’s comments are likely to do much harm in promoting greater understanding between religious groups and give more ammunition to those waiting in our periphery eager to take advantage of divisions in Christian and Muslim Interfaith work.
MCB Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said “The MCB hopes that Dr Michael Nazir Ali takes more responsibility and care in his remarks although regrettably he has developed a habit of upsetting many sections of our community including his recent remarks on childless married couples and the Prince of Wales. As a key figure of the Anglican Church’s network for Inter faith, he ought to work to foster better relationships and bring about cohesion rather than create and aggravate community tensions”.[ENDS]