THE Bishop of Rochester, Dr Nazir-Ali, yesterday sounded like he borrowed a script from the British National Party when he warned that Islamic extremism has turned some communities into no-go areas for people of a different faith or race.
He added that non-Muslims faced ‘hostility’ in those areas and described the government’s multicultural policies as divisive and turning ‘already separate communities into “no-go” areas’.
Nazir-Ali continued that there had been attempts to ‘impose an “Islamic” character on certain areas’, for example, by amplifying the call to prayer from mosques.
He asked ‘whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker’.
The fact of the matter is that Muslim people are in Britain from regions of the world that were part of the British empire.
When Britain colonised these countries the imperialist masters did not seek to blend in with the native population and become indistinguishable.
They lorded it over them with their differences, in terms of religion, attire, language and culture, displayed as symbols of superiority.
British imperialism did its best to turn the physically conquered peoples into cultural vassals as well, into second or even third class Britons.
The worthy Bishop is an example of the success or otherwise of this imperialist process.
Millions of immigrants have come to Britain from Ireland and other places especially since the industrial revolution.
Initially, every city had its ‘Little Ireland’ where, as Engels recorded, the rents had to be collected with the support of parties of police and even troops.
British counter-insurgency operations in Ireland produced the Manchester Martyrs and other Fenian heroes in Britain, who assaulted British imperialism with bombs.
However, there are no more ‘Little Irelands’. All of the immigrants were assimilated and even served to enrich the local bourgeois culture.
It was no different with the wave of Jewish immigrants fleeing from the Tsarist pogroms, and it will be no different with the peoples from the Indian sub-continent whether Muslim or Hindu.
A telling remark from the Bishop concerning the state of Christianity was, ‘If it had not been for the black majority churches and the recent arrival of people from central and eastern Europe, the Christian cause in many of our cities would have looked a lost one.’
This is just very sour grapes! The Anglican Church has just been whipped into second place by the Roman Catholics who have enormously expanded their praying power with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Poles.
The Bishop, working hard to get over this setback, consoles himself with the notion that this reinforcement has at least kept the Christian ‘cause’ ahead of the Muslims.
The WRP has no interest in these divisive religious wars.
We do not want to be woken up in the early hours by either Church bells or Mullahs with microphones.
We are atheists, and believe that humankind will in time, with the advance of revolution and science, overcome all of the divisive religious prejudices.
However, we urge all workers to ignore the divisive and poisonous remarks of the Christian Bishop.
We have work to do uniting the entire working class regardless of colour, religion or language to defeat the massive attacks that the Labour government, backed no doubt by all of the Churches, is about to impose on the working class to make it pay for the crisis of the capitalist system.
It is this united action of the working class, led by the revolutionary party, which will change the world for the better by overthrowing capitalism and imperialism and advancing to a socialist society, where in due time religion will be consigned to the museum as one of the peculiarities of human development.