Support for ‘no-go’ bishop builds up after death threats

February 3rd, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb.3 (ANI): Leading political and religious leaders have condemned death threats against the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, and his family.

Dr.Ali was warned that he would not “live long” and would be “sorted out” if he continued to criticise Islam, following his claim that parts of Britain had become “no-go” areas for non-Muslims.

Police have launched inquiries into the phone calls that were made to his home and have put him and his family under police protection with the use of an emergency line.

Surveillance cameras around the building have been improved. The bishop’s mail is being screened by the Post Office as an added precaution.

Senior members of the Muslim Council of Britain are expected to meet Dr. Nazir-Ali later this month, under the auspices of the Muslim-Christian Forum, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

Relations between the two faiths became strained after the bishop argued that there had been attempts to “impose an Islamic” character on certain areas, for example by amplifying the call to prayer from mosques.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis condemned the threat as an attack on free speech.

Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, who attacked the bishop for his remarks, declined to comment.

Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain’s inter-faith committee, had also been critical of Dr Nazir-Ali, but he condemned the threats as “totally unacceptable”.

The Bishop of Winchester, Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt was alarmed by the threats.

“There is no place for threats in our public life. Whatever anybody says in public life the response should be argument, not threat. That is the proper response and always has been in Christianity and within the law,” he was quoted, as saying. (ANI)

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