From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ACNS] Anglican News Service Digest 24 Sept 2004

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 24 Sep 2004 11:33:11 -0700

The following (6 items) is a roundup of this week's stories included in
the Anglican Communion News Service Digest:

(185) 23-September-2004 - St Paul's to launch ethics project for city
managers - England

St Paul's Cathedral is to set up a new project to help those in
managerial positions in firms in the City of London to consider the
moral and spiritual dimensions of their work. The Paternoster Business
Conference is being developed in association with Heythrop College,
University of London, and is based on the successful Woodstock Business
Conference in the United States run by Georgetown University. The
Paternoster Business Conference will enable participants to address
issues such as leadership, business ethics, work-life balance and the
spirituality of work. A parallel course is also to be run by Westminster
Cathedral, the national Roman Catholic Cathedral in London. For more
information see the St Paul's Cathedral web site for contact details:

(184) 22-September-2004 - Archbishop Akinola commends AU leader -

The Most Revd Peter Akinola, the Primate of all Nigeria, has commended
the role played by the African Union (AU) leader and President of
Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, for his efforts to resolve the Sudan crisis,
which is centred on the country's Dafur region.

Archbishop Akinola also condemned the perpetrators of violence in the
region and called for justice. He made statements at the end of a
four-day standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria in Enugu,
in the country's south-east. To read the full story, click here:

(183) 21-September-2004 - West African Primate to be enthroned - West

A message from the Church of the Province of West Africa received by the
Anglican Communion Office states that the Rt Revd Dr Justice Ofei Yaw
Akrofi will today be enthroned as the province's Archbishop and Primate
in the Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Accra, Ghana.

The Church of the Province of West Africa includes dioceses in Ghana,
Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea, and Liberia.

(182) 20-September-2004 - Archdeacon elected bishop of Montreal - Canada

 >From the Anglican Journal of Canada

Archdeacon Barry B Clarke, 52, was elected the 11th bishop of the
Anglican diocese of Montreal on 18 September at an Episcopal election
held at Christ Church Cathedral in the city.

"He was elected first among the laity, then the clergy came around,"
said Archdeacon Peter Hannen, diocesan executive officer.

The 93 clerical and 153 lay voters, in four hours of voting, considered
11 candidates at the outset, said Mr Hannen. On the fourth ballot,
Archdeacon Clarke received 50 votes among the clergy and 90 among the
laity, putting him over the simple majority needed from each order.

Archdeacon Clarke was educated in Montreal and has spent his career in
the diocese. He holds a bachelor of theology degree from McGill
University and a diploma in ministry from Montreal Diocesan Theological
College. He has served several parishes in the diocese, most recently St
Paul's in Lachine, since 1993. He is also priest-associate for the
Sisters of St John the Divine and chaplain international for the Order
of St Luke the Physician.

In his nomination statement, Archdeacon Clarke said that " pastor
to the church I would want to listen to the cares and concerns of the
church both locally and globally."

The candidate with the second highest number of votes was the Revd Grant
LeMarquand, associate professor of biblical studies and mission at
Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Pittsburgh.

(181) 20-September-2004 - Church on terrorism and community relations -

 >From Church House, London

Submission from the Church of England to the House of Commons Home
Affairs Committee

The threat of terrorism faces governments with the challenge of
maintaining security without undermining human rights but some current
counter-terrorist measures threaten to aggravate tensions between
Muslims and other groups in British society, the Church of England has
warned in a submission to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee
enquiry into the effects of counter-terrorism legislation on community

This is partly due to legislation that creates a separate system,
criticised by all-party groups, for indefinite detention of terrorist
suspects who are not British nationals, says the submission from the
Church of England's Mission and Public Affairs Council. It also points
to other measures creating a sense of insecurity and stigmatisation
among Muslims. Police, says the submission, should use powers of arrest
and search even-handedly and media reporting should reflect more
representative and responsible views from within Muslim communities.

The submission is attached below in full.


Submission from the Church of England to the House of Commons Home
Affairs Committee

General considerations

1.  The Church of England shares the widespread public concern about the
impact of the threat of terrorism on our national life. We are conscious
that we are now living in a world in which - as Lord Newton has put it -
we would not choose, and did not expect, to live, and that as a result
governments face unenviable dilemmas in seeking to reconcile security
and liberty.

2.  We also share the widespread concern about the consequent
aggravation of tensions between different ethnic and religious groups
within our nation.  Through its network of parishes across the country
the Church of England has a presence in every local community; clergy
and churches are often key players in building bridges of inter-faith
understanding and cooperation between different groups.  This makes us
aware of the day-to-day effects of governmental policies.

3.  The major threat to community relations in the present situation
arises from the self-identification of Al-Qaeda as an Islamic
organisation claiming to defend and pursue Islamic interests. This may
encourage misrepresentation by some people of Muslims and Muslim
communities as supportive of terrorism, and conversely misrepresentation
of counter-terrorist measures as essentially anti-Islamic. Over the past
two years, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury has organised a
series of local 'listening exercises' designed to hear the concerns of a
wide range of voices from Muslim individuals and groups across England.
It has become clear from these that many in the Muslim community feel
isolated, anxious, and misunderstood within wider society as a result of
the current situation.

4.  The danger to community relations posed by the threat of terrorism
lies partly in its potential to exacerbate existing tensions in the
United Kingdom. These tensions are affected both by the position of
Muslims in our society, and by the overflow of international conflicts
into the domestic scene.  Terrorism itself is one form of overflow, and
responses to geopolitical events such as the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and the war in Iraq profoundly condition communal attitudes and

5.	The Act of 2000 defines terrorism in terms of its objectives,
and of
its effects.  First, it is stipulated that "the use or threat [of
action] is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the
public or a section of the public, and...the use or threat is made for
the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause."
[Section 1.(1)] Second, that the action involves "serious violence
against a person...serious damage to property...endangers a person's
life...creates a serious risk to the health and safety of the public, designed seriously to interfere with or disrupt an electronic
system." [Section 1.(2)].  Governments whose societies are threatened by
terrorism understandably treat it primarily as a criminal act, in terms
of its effects, and only secondarily as a political act, in terms of its

6.  Part of effective counter-terrorist policy must therefore be to
reassure those who may share certain political sympathies or goals with
terrorists that the policy is directed against the violent methods of
the terrorists rather than against political objectives which would be
legitimate if pursued by non-violent means.  Equally, to act against
terrorists without sensitivity towards the legitimate political
interests and aspirations of significant sections of society is likely
to damage community relations. British governments have long struggled
with these quandaries in Northern Ireland.

Legislation and civil liberties

7.  Our concerns about counter-terrorist legislation centre on the
operation of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and
Security Act (ATCSA) 2001. Such evidence as we have suggests that the
power of arrest under the 2000 Act has been used disproportionately
against Muslims.  A number of case studies, most recently that from the
Institute of Race Relations, suggest that while the great majority of
those arrested under the Act have been Muslim, the majority of those
convicted (a relatively low number) have been non-Muslim. Furthermore,
most of those arrested have either been released without charge, or have
seen charges dropped or thrown out of court.

8.  Part 4 of ATCSA has been discussed intensively on account of the
power given to detain indefinitely foreign nationals suspected of
terrorism, subject to authorisation and review by the Special
Immigration Appeals Commission. This has necessitated derogation from
Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to
liberty) on grounds of national emergency.  The seriousness of this
action means that its justification must be subject to regular and
careful review, since it now appears that the emergency will be

9.  In the context of community relations, we draw attention
particularly to the differential treatment of British and foreign
nationals. Part 4 has created, with great sophistication and care, an
enclave of the criminal justice system targeted on foreign nationals,
with enhanced powers for the State and weaker safeguards for suspects.
The Government itself has described these provisions as too draconian to
be applied to British citizens, but judges them necessary to deal with
terrorist suspects who cannot be deported.  In addition to sharing
doubts about its compatibility with Article 14 of ECHR, we believe that
Part 4 contributes powerfully to a sense of double standards of justice,
liberty and dignity as between British citizens and others, most of whom
are Muslims, and indirectly to a sense of injustice among British
Muslims.  We support the recommendation of both the Newton Committee and
the Joint Committee on Human Rights that new efforts should be made to
frame legislation which deals with all terrorism regardless of the
nationality of suspects and that such legislation should not require a
derogation from ECHR.


10. The perception of discrimination between Muslims and others extends
from the operation of counter-terrorist legislation to more general
policing strategy. Both anecdotal and statistical evidence suggest that
in recent years stop and search powers have been employed
disproportionately against Muslims (e.g. the Metropolitan Police
District stop and search rates for Asian and white people respectively
between 2001 and 2002).  While this situation is not the same as that
facing black communities in earlier times, confrontational methods of
policing are likely to prove counter-productive, as they risk increasing
radicalisation of young Muslims, in particular. The operation of such
policing strategies needs also to be set against a social background of
under-achievement, deprivation and consequent alienation among many
Muslim communities.

11. There is concern that Muslims involved in credit card fraud or
forgery have been treated as suspected terrorists, so that extra powers
available under counter-terrorist legislation have been extended to
routine criminal investigations. While it is true that routine offences
could be committed "preparatory to terrorism", this is a disturbing
trend which merits scrutiny. It also appears that some arrested under
anti-terrorist legislation have subsequently been re-arrested by the
immigration service and held in custody as security risks despite the
absence of criminal charges.

12. There is admittedly a problem when interpreting statistics which
show differential treatment, in knowing whether factors other than
discrimination could explain them. It can be argued that
counter-terrorist operations directed against Al-Qaeda could be expected
to affect the Muslim population disproportionately, but the scale of the
disparity in a number of areas and the lack of objective justifications
for it suggest that the explanation is unlikely to be reassuring. That
Muslim communities experience counter-terrorist policy as discriminatory
and threatening is a serious cause for concern.

Media reporting and stigmatisation of minority groups

13. In a situation where perceptions on all sides are crucial, the role
of the media is of great significance. It is to be regretted that
reporting, particularly in the national press, frequently seems to
reinforce prejudices and stereotypes. Such phrases as "Islamic
terrorism" encourage the misrepresentations mentioned in para. 3 above,
while comment is often shaped by unsympathetic portrayals of all Muslims
as unreasonable, violent or (applying a misleading word drawn from
Christian use) 'fundamentalist'.  We believe it is incumbent on
politicians to speak with care and sensitivity on these matters,
especially in the period leading up to a General Election.

14. We believe that press reporting needs to be more aware of the
diversity of opinion and practice within the Muslim community, and more
responsible in seeking the views of leading figures within that
community who can speak with credibility and understanding.  It is very
unfortunate that the opinions of a handful of unrepresentatively extreme
figures are regularly given prominence.  We sympathise with the position
of Muslim community leaders who are firm in their repudiation of
terrorism but find themselves outflanked in the media on one side by
mavericks from their own ranks and on the other by criticism from those
who equate Islam with 'militancy'.  We regard it as vital that their
voices are heard and reported.

15. It is also unsatisfactory that reporting tends to concentrate upon
dramatic incidents of arrest, carrying implications of guilt and
dangerousness, while failing to report with the same prominence
subsequent dropping or dismissal of charges.  Thus the impression is
given that Muslims are being arrested and convicted of terrorism in
large numbers, whereas the truth is quite opposite, and the outcome is
to increase public fear and prejudice.

16. While we recognise that it is the Muslim community which has most
strongly expressed its sense of stigmatisation and isolation in the
present climate, we recognise that others too feel under pressure. The
Jewish community has experienced both an increase in attacks, against
both individuals and property, and also a degree of hostility, resulting
from the Middle Eastern situation, unprecedented since 1945. Recognising
the need for people to be able to engage in robust criticism of the
policies of the Israeli - or any other - government, we are concerned
that this sometimes crosses the line into public expression of
anti-Semitic views, whether openly or implicitly.

17. We recognise that other visible minorities	have felt exposed and
vulnerable. Because of their appearance, Sikhs have been abused as
accomplices of, or sympathisers with, Osama bin Laden.	Hindus,
Christians and others from minority ethnic backgrounds have all
experienced increased levels of hostility and suspicion.

18. Recently the tense national and international situation has
inhibited the trust and patience on which constructive inter-faith
relationships are built; consequently, community relations are in danger
of fragmentation in many places. In these circumstances, a renewed
commitment to the support of constructive inter-faith engagement through
adequate education and positive reporting is crucial.

19. The incidence of hostility and discrimination towards minority
religious groups in Britain makes it necessary to protect their rights
and safeguard their interests as members of society.  The unequal legal
protection offered to different religions is a cause of discontent,
particularly among Muslims, and good community relations require this to
be rectified.  The Government has favoured the creation of a new offence
of "incitement to religious hatred" and in 2002 the Church of England
expressed qualified support for such a	measure.

20. We continue to support the proposal, along with representatives of
other faith communities, believing that this would also provide a check
on hateful and inflammatory rhetoric emanating from the margins of the
Muslim community. We note, however, anxieties that the offence would
inhibit freedom of speech, and we emphasise the importance of ensuring
that legislation penalises the religiously-motivated incitement of harm
against people, rather than robust argument (whether in promotion or
criticism of religious beliefs and practices) which some may find
divisive or offensive.


21. Religions are frequently censured for their contribution to human
conflict and division.	While there is some justice in these criticisms,
the religions also possess in their traditions resources for evoking
trust, making peace and living with danger while resisting panic,
despair or violence.  These  resources are potentially a gift to our
society as it wrestles with the threat of terrorism, but the potential
will be fulfilled only if the various faith communities are able to work
together in the cause of peace and justice.  The Church of England is
committed to making a constructive and	wholehearted contribution to
that process.

The Rt Revd Tom Butler
Bishop of Southwark, Vice-Chair, Mission and Public Affairs Council

September 2004

(180) 20-September-2004 - Cape Town's oldest Anglican Church turns 70 -
South Africa

The Most Revd Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, attended a
special service to celebrate the 70th birthday of Cape Town's oldest
Anglican Church yesterday. Langa's St Cyprian's Church has a rich
history of survival through the adversity of apartheid's Group Areas

The church is older than the building itself. It was established in
1934. St Cyprian's Langa was forcibly removed in the 60s from Ndabeni in
the city bowl. The church became a powerful symbol of unity for the
people of Cape Town's oldest township. More here:,2172,88110,00.html

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