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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 13:39 GMT
Bishop warns of extremist dangers
Bishop Nazir-Ali
Bishop Nazir-Ali said politicians must see the dangers of extremism
Calls for a different way of tackling extremism have come from the Bishop of Rochester in his message for 2007.

The Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali said he was praying for justice and peace, particularly in the Middle East.

But he said his greatest fear was that politicians and decision makers would not see the dangers of extremism and would tackle the issue "pragmatically".

The Kent bishop, whose father converted from Islam, said "Britain must discover its spiritual roots" to deal with it.

In an interview with BBC South East, he called for an end to violence.

Spiritual roots

He said: "I pray that in this country also there will be a greater sense of cohesion and of integration among people of different kinds.

"I pray that our relations with people of other faiths worldwide will be based on trust and respect - on a common acknowledgement of fundamental freedoms."

He added: "My greatest fear is that people including politicians and decision makers will not see the dangers of extremism in our world, that they will try to address these questions pragmatically.

"But we are again in our history faced with a comprehensive political ideology and Britain must discover its spiritual roots if it's successfully to deal with it."

Earlier this month, the bishop called for legislation to give some officials the power to remove the veil worn by Muslim women.

The Anglican bishop, who was born in Pakistan, has also said the Muslim community must increase its efforts to integrate into British society.


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