Inayat’s letter to Telegraph – so far unpublished

Dear Sir, Your leader column today (‘Bishop of Rochester leads the way’, Daily Telegraph, 8th Jan 2008) states that although Michael Nazir-Ali may have perhaps ‘overstated’ his case about Muslims turning parts of the UK into ‘no-go’ areas, you believed that his remarks would ‘resonate with many’.

The fact is that the good Bishop provided no evidence whatsoever to back up his highly inflammatory assertion. Which areas in our country was he thinking of? He did not say and that is surely totally unacceptable. There is absolutely no credible research that bears out his alarming claim.

You are quite right that Nazir-Ali’s remarks will unfortunately strike a chord with quite a few people in the UK but we would suggest that this may be more to do with how anti-Muslim prejudice is becoming increasingly acceptable in the UK. Instead of firmly challenging those prejudices it is very regrettable in our view that the Daily Telegraph seeks to pander to them.

We would have hoped that a figure of Dr Nazir-Ali’s seniority in the Church of England would have sought to promote better relations with different faith groups in the UK rather than seeking so blatantly to stir up hatred against a religious minority.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Inayat Bunglawala, Assistant Secretary-General, The Muslim Council of Britain