Bishop Michael Nazir Ali: TRIPLE JEOPARDY (Pub 13.09.12) 17.09.12
I consider Bishop Ali as one of a few men in this world who has acquired a true grasp of Christianity (Anglicanism), Hinduism, and Islam and appreciate the differences in the cultures that each of these philosophies have produced. Hence I was interested in his latest book, mentioned above. He has not only lived in the environments mentioned but he has also studied in great depths the ideologies that have and will make a difference to all our lives in the future. Yet, I feel that, because of his ecclesiastical training, he still has the tendency to couch much of his controversial views with ecclesiastical political correctness, but on the other hand is as forthright as any clergy or politician I have ever heard in public in recent years. Too may are either too ignorant of the topic to dare to utter an opinion or are too politically correct in order to ensure their career.
Bishop Ali has contributed much to the understanding of the current dilemma Europe faces today and has in many ways has pointed to the solution in this book. It has become evident that the problem that faces the West is, "The retreat of the Judeo-Christian culture, and the aggressive resurgence of the alien Islamic culture that threatens to overwhelm it." He refers to the emergence of "aggressive secularism" accompanied with the aggressive indoctrination of "multiculturalism" and active and unrestricted emergence of "radical Islam." [Yet all this began after WWII with the formation of the European Union and their determination to unite with the Arab nations in order to establish their place in the world order again. This was because the Euro-Arab Dialogue and its subsequent effects, i.e., "political correctness," multiculturalism and "blatant appeasement" resulted. Thus the resurgence of Islam in Europe was brought on by the political, economic, and demographic planning and concurrence of the European Union in order to counter the pre-eminence of America dominance in world politics.]
But no one in the EU was aware of, or understood, the Islamic psyche of the Arabs who interpreted the withdrawal of opposition to religious, political, military or intellectual engagement as a willing capitulation of Western values to that of Islamic values, and so were emboldened to make greater demands as time passed. And that is exactly what has happened in Europe.
Bishop Ali has taken great pains to discuss Islamic ideology and their concept of Jihad and continues to stress that we should take cognisance of the differences between the meanings of "Muslims," "Islam," and "Islamism." [Also the confusion of the definition of a Muslim, a cultural Muslim and a renegade Muslim.] That we should recognise that there is considerable overlap of all these definitions. "A devout and pietistic Muslim can be influenced by extremist ideology, and Islamism certainly uses much in the fundamentals of Islam to argue its case. [There is also much confusion in differentiating of what some consider "extremist Islam" from what most Muslims would consider, "Quranic Islam."]
Despite Bishop Ali's intimate and academic knowledge of Islam he deeply believes in the possibility of creating a successful "interfaith dialogue" with Islam and other faiths. This is exactly the same approach taken by the members if the European Union that they would be able to influence the Arabic (Islamic) views. But no one in Islam has the authority to alter a single word of Allah as found in the Quran thus compromise in Islam is an impossibility. The only compromise that is possible is for the non-Islamic parties to capitulate to Islam just as has happened in Europe. Bishop Ali also suggested that changes could be affected by changes in the reform of Islamic education in particular in the Madrassas. This certainly would make a change for future generations but Madrassas have used the same format since they were formed centuries ago, and to alter that format is to ask Islam to alter its basis of Islam or the teachings of the Qur'an. Islam is unfortunately inflexible by the very nature of its construct.
However I fully agree with Bishop Ali that the only course for the salvation of the Western culture is for the revival and proper teaching of the Christian faith in all educational institutions so that we know our roots and our values and what is dear to us, our culture. We have to be strong in ourselves and also to be taught of what Islam is about and their ideology so that we know what we are countering. At the moment, the West have lost their identity and their respect for their own cultural roots and are lost. We need leadership that can renew our souls and belief values and want to defend what we value, our Judeo-Christian roots.