Last March, in an article about Archbishop Peter Akinola and the 2004 massacre of 650 or more Muslims in the Nigerian town of Yelwa I wrote:
It is sometimes said that in electing Gene Robinson its bishop, the people of New Hampshire "exported" the American argument over homos
exuality to the rest of the Anglican Communion. It is fair to ask whether, through organizations such as [Martyn] Minns' and [David] Anderson's Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and initiatives such as the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), scheduled to be held in Jordan and Jerusalem this summer, the archbishop and his financial backers are attempting to export his approach to Christian-Muslim relations to the wider world.
More from Griswold [quoting Akinola]:
“People are thinking that Islam is an issue in Africa and Asia, but you in the West are sitting on explosives.” What people in the West don’t understand, he said, “is that what Islam failed to accomplish by the sword in the eighth century, it’s trying to do by immigration so that Muslims become citizens and demand their rights.”
The culture warriors who funded the Anglican right's campaign against the Episcopal Church may be preparing to graft an anti-Muslim branch onto anti-gay roots. They may well employ Akinola and a few other bishops to persuade the world that millions of impoverished Africans think precisely what militant American conservatives need them to think. It worked once. At least for a while.
Lo and behold, yesterday, we received news that the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, a stalwart of the Anglican right who will soon step down a Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester in the Church of England, will be in Washington in October to deliver a speech on “Aggressive Secularism, Multiculturalism, and the Islamist Threat to Western Culture and Society.”
And CANA, is announcing a new program (see the release below the fold) on "the Church and Islam" led by Canon Julian Dobbs, formerly of the vigorously anti-Islamic Barnabas Fund.
Two cents on where I see the breakaway Anglicans heading: the leadership, like Minns, Dobbs, Don Armstrong, etc., will continue to play to big donors and political insiders by agreeing to gin up resentment against whomever the farthest corners of the American right dictate. Meanwhile, on the ground, these churches will present themselves as Baptists with a taste for liturgy--and keep the nature of their origins, their views on human sexuality and their leaders political activities more or less under wraps as they attempt to reach out to young people. The long term prospects of ACNA and its various branches hinges almost entirely on obscuring and growing beyond its homophobic roots as quickly as possible.
CANA Announces the “Church and Islam Project”
HERNDON, Va. (August 19, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) announced its “Church and Islam Project,” an education-focused initiative to help Anglicans in the U.S. understand Islam and the challenge it poses to the Church and its mission.
CANA’s Canon Missioner, the Rev’d Canon Julian Dobbs, recently spoke at CANA’s Annual Council on the subject. “As Christians, we are called to reach out to the world around us to spread the love of Christ and that includes learning how to respond to other religions. CANA is committed to providing its members with honest and respectful information, while exposing the truth about so-called moderate Islam and encouraging evangelism to Muslims,” he said.
In addition to holding educational seminars and providing materials to CANA members, CANA’s “Church and Islam Project” will provide information at a new website, www.ChurchandIslam.com.
An ordained Anglican priest, Mr. Dobbs will be heading the “Church and Islam Project.” He was most recently the U.S.executive director for the Barnabas Fund, at which he developed awareness for the persecuted church and this growing ministry across the U.S.
“Through its association with the Church of Nigeria, CANA has watched with horror as anti-Christian violence has increased especially where Nigerian States have introduced Sharia [Islamic] law. Churches have been burnt and destroyed, Christians have been intimidated and some have been killed, all in the name of Islam. Islam continues to invade the Church here in the U.S., where Christians are increasingly subject to statements from Episcopal bishops and other leaders who confuse parishioners about the theological irregularities of Islam and champion ‘open pulpits’ where mullah’s are invited to teach from lecterns once dedicated to the proclamation of the historic Christian faith,” Rev’d Dobbs continued.
“Countless pastors and churches are being drawn into discussions on Islam and Christ, but we cannot let polite multi-faith dialog substitute for the truth of the Gospel message. CANA is committed to providing resources to help Christians deepen their understanding of Islam and to develop the appropriate Biblical response,” he said.
CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns agrees. “The Gospel message does not exclude a fifth of the world’s population who are Muslims. We are called to love our neighbor – no matter what religion they practice – because the Christian faith has a distinctive message which brings the salvation and love of God to a needy and broken world through the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.