Fostering anti-Islamic attitudes

Andrew Brown of the Guardian wonders what Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali will get up to now that he has retired as Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England, and asks whether a global campaign to spread anti-Islamic attitudes is part of the agenda of the Anglican right:

Although he is definitely anti-gay, and signed up completely to the Gafcon agenda, going so far as to boycott the Lambeth Conference last year, this was never his main cause, as it was, I think, for some of the other Gafcon participants, especially the African clergy. What he sees as the global challenge to Christianity is Islam, even more than liberalism.

Now, whether this is theologically true or not seems to me a quite irrelevant question. What matters for the future is whether this makes emotional, political, or tribal sense. Obviously it does in some places; Pakistan and Nigeria come to mind. In both those countries, religious allegiance is a political statement. The question is whether it will come to be seen in the same way in Europe and North America. Will anti-Muslim sentiment come to be seen as a form of patriotism?

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