Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: immigrants should accept Britains Christian values
All new immigrants should accept Britains traditional Christian values and be willing to adapt to them, according to a prominent clergyman.
By Martin Beckford
The Telegraph (U.K.), January 14, 2010
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said the country must never again repeat the multicultural experiment of recent decades.
He also called for an end to the segregation of Muslims in British cities, which he warned provides a breeding ground for extremists.
The bishop made his strongly-worded comments after Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, backed a campaign by the cross-party Balanced Immigration Group to stop Britains population reaching 70 million.
Bishop Nazir-Ali, who grew up in Pakistan before joining the Church of England, said in a statement: 'Both he and the group are right that every country has limits to the numbers of new arrivals that it can accommodate and the UK, in particular, as a small country cannot take an indefinite number of people who wish to live here.
'Not only is there over-crowding, especially of metropolitan areas, but social, educational and medical services are placed under increasing strain and there is always the concern about jobs and housing for the indigenous population, particularly from its poorer sections.
'The question, however, is not simply one of numbers but also of the quality of would-be immigrants. One of the missing features of the mass immigration of the 50s and 60s was any concern for the congruence of such immigration with the values, culture and language of the host country. We must never again allow this to happen.'
The bishop admitted some immigration would be necessary, particularly with an ageing workforce, but added: 'All would-be immigrants should be willing to adapt to living in a context shaped by traditional British values, which have been largely derived from the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
'This does not, of course, exclude their own contribution once they are here, but we should expect not hostility but a desire to become good residents or, for some, citizens of the country to which they have come of their own volition.
'Whilst we can acknowledge the reality and the value of a multi-cultural and multi-faith society, this should not again result in the kind of politically-correct multiculturalism which has led not to engagement and mutual learning between the different communities but to the isolation and segregation which has given extremists the chance to propagate their noxious ideology, especially among the young and impressionable.
'We need redoubled effort to engage ethnic and faith communities that may be in danger of isolation. The mobility of young people in terms of travel, education and interaction should be encouraged. People from Islamic lands, in particular, should not be isolated by drawing a cordon sanitaire around them.'