Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims [Excerpts]
Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today.
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and the Church's only Asian bishop, says that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.
Bishop Nazir-Ali warns that attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character.
The Muslim Council of Britain today described his comments as "frantic scaremongering", while William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said the bishop had "probably put it too strongly."
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the idea of no-go areas was "a gross caricature of reality".
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Bishop Nazir-Ali compares the threat to the use of intimidation by the far-Right, and says that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christianity to be the nation's public religion in a multifaith, multicultural society.
Bishop Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, gives warning that attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character by introducing the call to prayer and wider use of sharia law, a legal system based on the Koran.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, has accused Muslims of promoting a kind of "voluntary apartheid" by shutting themselves in closed societies and demanding immunity from criticism.
Bishop Nazir-Ali, whose father converted from Islam to Catholicism, was criticised by Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain. He said: "It's irresponsible for a man of his position to make these comments.
[Unfortunately, as we have learned from the experience of other nations, the Bishop's statements simply reflect reality. The "no go" areas of France received attention during the Islamic riots of a few years ago. At the same time Scandinavian nations acknowledged the same problems.]