Until recently I paid little attention to politics within the Church of England. The Anglicans are hardly the most exciting bunch around. But this changed when constant attacks by Bishop Nazir-Ali, the most well-known conservative Bishop within the Church, on Muslims led me to believe he was trying to build up a base against Archbishop Rowan Williams. See this article on CIF. So I became interested in what Nazir-Ali was up to and how we going about building his power base.
Last week when the big bomb dropped that the Anglican Church faced a major split from more conservative bishops from Africa, objecting against increasingly liberal moves within the Church of England to allow women bishops and bless gay marriages, I thought – what’s Nazir Ali going to do now?
He joined the conservative faction from Africa of course, because it challenged Rowan William’s legitimacy. I expect he thought that people might nominate him as the new Anglican Church head so he could smooth things over with the Africans and restore unity again. The first problem is that Rowan Williams isn’t taking this lying down.
The bigger problem for Nazir Ali is that this looks more like a power play from the African Anglicans, who want the centre of Anglican gravity to shift to the south. Over the long term they probably don’t give a toss for Nazir-Ali either. Which means that many conservative Anglicans in Britain, recognising this is as a serious long-term blow to their power, will rally towards Rowan Williams. They still want the power after all. Here’s the religion editor at the Telegraph (which has been supporting Nazir Ali a lot) saying he has become a “useful idiot”.
Which basically means Lord Nazir Ali may be left hanging out to dry and all those conservatives who secretly supported his bid to be the next Archbishop will have to ditch him. Fun and games. I, for one, can’t see the back of Nazir Ali back into obscurity.
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