Carey fears danger of conflict with Islam

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has warned against conflicts between Islam and the West and urged moderate leaders of all religions to condemn fundamentalist outrages.

Speaking in Los Angeles, where he is on a tour of the American Episcopal Church, Dr Carey said: "Whether the new millennium will be one of peace or war will depend to a large measure on the ability of the great religions, and Christianity in particular, to draw from within themselves all which makes for peace.

"If religions are not dying out, and may be on the increase in many parts of our world, the religious leadership has a responsibility to resist anything that is done in the name of religion which denies the true ends of religion. I think of extremism which ends in murder, and violence.

"Sometimes, when acts are perpetrated by fundamentalists, I am saddened that few leaders of such faith communities condemn the atrocities. People should not hide behind religious beliefs to justify acts of terrorism."

His speech will be seen as containing criticism of some Muslim countries, especially those which deny to Christians the liberty of worship they demand for their own subjects abroad. "Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and others have equal rights to worship freely in the West," he said. "However, this must apply equally to the rights that Christians should have in places where they are a minority."

Professor Akbar Ahmed, of Selwyn College Cambridge, who last week preached the first Muslim sermon in a Cambridge College Chapel, said: "Dr Carey is trying to do the right thing, but underneath, I suspect he is seeing this relationship in terms of . . . confrontation when it should be dialogue. Muslims see people like the Archbishop as still harbouring some of the agenda of the crusade."

As if to illustrate this, Professor Ahmed has been denounced this week by the self-styled Muslim Parliament for preaching in a Christian church. A spokesman for the parliament told an Urdu newspaper that his actions were a preliminary to asking Christian priests to preach in mosques.

Dr Carey has long argued that religion is undervalued in human affairs; and yesterday drew to his aid a controversial Harvard professor, Samuel Huntington, who three years ago argued that the collapse of communism meant that the main rival for the West now is the Islamic world. "The fault lines of civilisations will be the battle lines of the future", Professor Huntington claimed.

This "beguiling hypothesis", said Dr Carey, had been too quickly discounted. Some people thought it exaggerated; others it was politically incorrect. However, he believed that Professor Huntington had grasped "something essential to world peace" when he spoke about the importance of the West understanding the basic religious and philosophical assumptions underlying other civilisations.

Dr Carey argued that the Church of England's difficulties over women priests offered a model in terms of conflict resolution, in as much as opponents of the decision had been accommodated as far as possible, to that the two sides could "live in peace together for the sake of all we have in common".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn