Sunday 10 January 2010

Archbishop Carey on Immigration

Andrew Brown in the Guardian's "comment is free" picks up on the behaviour of Archbishop George Carey who calls on a ban on immigration, but seems to mean not all immigration, just the worrying Muslim kind:

"No, the sort of immigrants he doesn't want are pretty clearly Muslims, especially when they are poor and unskilled. The examples he gives of obnoxious immigrants are those who "immediately establish their own tribunals to apply Sharia, rather than make use of British civil law" – they are "deeply socially divisive". Muslims are clearly the target of his remark that "while we don't expect groups to assimilate, there must be a willingness on their part to integrate with the rest of British society". They are the people who end up in "the last thing any of us want … ghettos".

The great majority of Anglican bishops remain opposed to the Carey line of thinking, certainly in public. But the increasing African influence on the Church of England brings with it a deep suspicion of Muslims, especially from Nigeria which is divided, sometimes bloodily, on religious lines. There is a curious and unpleasant paradox here. Carey sets himself up as a defender of particularly English values; and to the extent that the church retreats into a cosy conservative nationalism, it will be tempted to follow his line. But the same hostility to Muslims is also likely to grow from international engagement, and the belief that the church of England is part of a wider communion, whose centre of gravity is in Africa."

You can read the full article here.

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