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  • Is it over for Bishop Nazir-Ali?

    by Sunny
    1st July, 2008 at 3:37 am    

    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.

    PS: I wonder what Simon Barrow, Riazat Butt and Richard have to say on this too…

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    14 Comments below   |  

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    1. Not Pretty | unlawful termination unlawful arrest unlawful discrimination unlawful eviction

      [...] Pickled Politics - Has Bishop Nazir-Ali just destroyed his base amongst Anglicans? I do enjoy a good schism… [...]

    1. Sid — on 1st July, 2008 at 10:30 am  

      Rowan Williams has ninety nine problems but his pulpit-bitch ain’t one.

    2. Golam Murtaza — on 1st July, 2008 at 7:18 pm  

      If my memory serves me well, when Nazir-Ali first emerged on the scene in Britain commentators suggested that because he was a Christian of Pakistani origin he’d build a bridge between different communities and unite people.

      So much for that idea…

    3. riazat butt — on 2nd July, 2008 at 4:27 pm

      that’s what conservative Anglicans think of me

    4. Rumbold — on 2nd July, 2008 at 5:32 pm  


      Hilarious link. I especially liked the bit when he said that you “gay baited” the African primates.

    5. Sofia — on 2nd July, 2008 at 5:33 pm  

      Riazat, I’m not sure what you would expect if you call them unchristian for the way they interpret sodom and gomorrah..ditto if you called muslims unislamic for their stance on gays.

    6. Don — on 2nd July, 2008 at 6:02 pm  

      a shill for British sodomites.

      homogenital activists?

      Mr Virtue has some issues. I suspect, although I have no way to check, that people like Mr Virtue (that can’t be his real name, can it?) spend more time thinking about gay sex than most homosexuals do.

    7. riazat — on 5th July, 2008 at 12:13 am  

      Sofia, did you read any of my work from Jerusalem? The comments about being unChristian weren’t related to how they interpret S&G (or even S&M) but more about how some African archbishops - Nigeria and Uganda - failed to condemn acts of torture, even though they were given two opportunities to do so and were provided with a concrete example of a lesbian Ugandan (Ugandan lesbian?) who was arrested, marched through the streets naked, raped and beaten by police officers. The GAFCON team say they are the ones to lead the world’s 77 million Anglicans through the turmoil caused by militant secularism and pluralism. I thought it was worth pointing out that there was nothing very Christian about their inability to condemn torture of humans, homosexual or no.

      Don - I still don’t know what a shill is. And yes, his name really is David Virtue and when he wasn’t tearing strips off me for being a godless fag hag and the “single worst journalist” we had a rather civil, dare I say amicable, relationship.

    8. Don — on 5th July, 2008 at 12:35 am  


      I still don’t know what a shill is.

      Bear with the first 1:30 set up.

      Oh, and can we have a weekend thread, please?

    9. BenSix — on 5th July, 2008 at 12:49 am  


      “Don - I still don’t know what a shill is”

      I think that it stems from ‘taking the shilling’.



    10. Sunny — on 5th July, 2008 at 1:55 am  

      Riazat - oh wow - that’s great stuff. Well done! And it was a good question too.

    11. Ian Gordon — on 5th July, 2008 at 8:49 am  

      This is NOT about sexuality. It is about POWER. The Anglican Communion is exactly that - a common union of Anglican provinces each with their own Archbishop and Bishops acknowledging a common heritage but free to grow their own church under their own authority. Rowan Williams has no authority over these provinces. The Gafcon prelates have been quick to exploit their freedom and then to vilify Williams for not taking any action - the well-worn ‘Cake and Eat it’ strategy. The approaching Lambeth Conference, like all its predecessors, is not an executive meeting. It is solely a gathering to listen, pray and discuss. Those who deliberately absent themselves show their inability to accept other points of view or even the fact that they exist and will miss the opportunity to meet their fellows and share their views. We are probably and sadly well rid of them. What they are preaching bears little relation to what I was taught in my confirmation classes all those years ago (45 to be precise!).

    12. riazat — on 5th July, 2008 at 5:45 pm  

      Ian Gordon - I think I described GAFCON/FOCA as a post-colonial power grab of global proportions. Nice huh?

      Sunny - we must have samosas and soon before I go to big bishop meeting later this month

    13. Kulvinder — on 5th July, 2008 at 8:40 pm  

      If all the churches are essentially seperate, what exactly is the ultimate strategy of the conservative members? I can’t claim to have followed the politics of the CoE and im a little confused by whats going on. I thought it was given that an archibishop in this country couldn’t do much other than disagree with an archbishop in Nigeria and vice versa.

      So the conservative members seperate, and then…what?

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