Bishop warns that Muslims who convert risk being killed

Nazir Ali 2One of the Church of England’s most senior bishops is warning that people will die unless Muslim leaders in Britain speak out in defence of the right to change faith.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, whose father converted from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan, says he is looking to Muslim leaders in Britain to “uphold basic civil liberties, including the right for people to believe what they wish to believe and to even change their beliefs if they wish to do so”.

Ali, who some see as a potential Archbishop of Canterbury, has told Channel 4’s Dispatches programme of his fears about the safety of the estimated 3,000 Muslims who have converted to other faiths in Britain. The bishop warns that Muslims who switch faiths in Britain could be killed if the current climate continues. “We have seen honour killings have happened, and there is no reason why this kind of thing cannot happen.”

Observer, 16 September 2007