LONDON – Islamic extremism in Britain has created communities that are "no-go areas" for non-Muslims, a Pakistani-born Church of England bishop said in The Sunday Telegraph.
Michael Nazir-Ali, the bishop of Rochester, told the newspaper that Britain's policies of multiculturalism have created separate Muslim communities that fail to integrate into mainstream society.
"There has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into `no-go' areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability," said Nazir-Ali.
"Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them," he said.
A British Muslim leader criticized Nazir-Ali's comments.
"It's irresponsible for a man of his position to make these comments," Imam Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain said in comments published by The Sunday Telegraph. "He should accept that Britain is a multicultural society in which we are free to follow our religion at the same time as being extremely proud to be British. We wouldn't allow 'no-go' areas to happen.
Nazir-Ali did not identify any such "no-go areas" in Britain, a predominantly Christian country with a Muslim population of about 1.6 million, many of whom live in northern England.
The majority of Britons are members of the Anglican Church of England, the country's officially established Christian church.