Bishop Fears Radical Islam Will Fill 'Moral Vacuum' in Britain

LONDON – A senior Church of England bishop claims the erosion of Christianity in Britain is leaving the country with a "moral vacuum" that radical Islam is ready to fill.

Writing in the political magazine Standpoint, the Rt. Rev. Dr Michael Nazir-Ali quoted an academic who pointed to the failure of church leaders to prevent Christian values from being substantially eroded in society during the social and sexual revolution of the 60s.

Christianity began to fall to the wayside just as more people of different faiths were starting to settle in Britain, the Pakistani-born Bishop of Rochester added.

"It is a situation which has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we find ourselves. Whilst the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place," he said.

Whereas Marxism failed to take hold in British society, he went on to question whether society could counter radical Islam with the same success.

"We are now, however, confronted by another equally serious ideology, that of radical Islamism, which also claims to be comprehensive in scope," he said. "What resources do we have to face yet another ideological battle?"

Nazir-Ali answered that only Judeo-Christian values could stand up adequately against the threat posed by radical Islam.

"It remains the case, however, that many of the beliefs and values which we need to deal with the present situation are rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition," the bishop said.

Earlier in the year, Nazir-Ali claimed that multiculturalism had failed and that radical Islam was turning some areas of Britain into "no-go" areas for people of different faiths.

He appeared to reiterate his position in the Standpoint article, declaring that the "newfangled and insecurely founded" doctrine of multiculturalism has created communities of immigrants that are "segregated" and "living parallel lives".

Last weekend, Nazir-Ali was one of only three Church of England bishops to come out in support of a motion put forward by lay member Paul Eddy to step up its efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity.

"We need to respect people of all faiths and of none," he said in response to the motion. "In the context of our dialogue with them, it is our duty to witness to our faith and to call people to faith in Jesus Christ, whilst recognizing that people of other faiths may have similar responsibilities.

"Cooperation among faiths arises from recognition of distinctive and not by diluting what we believe merely for the sake of good relations," the bishop contended. "It is God who converts our task in to bear witness faithfully in every context in which we find ourselves."

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