Church Leader Criticized for Calling Islam a "Vicious, Wicked Faith"

August 4, 2004

Source: EveningNews24

On August 4, 2004 EveningNews24 reported, "A religious leader from Norwich was today widely condemned after he branded the Islamic faith 'evil'. Rev. Alan Clifford, pastor of the Norwich Reformed Church, waded into the controversy surrounding anti-Muslim remarks made by the British National Party in an undercover BBC documentary. Today, religious and race leaders in Norwich condemned his backing of claims that Islam is 'a monster in our midst.' BNP leader Nick Griffin was shown in the TV documentary telling a rally of party members that Islam was a 'vicious, wicked faith' that 'has expanded through a handful of cranky lunatics' and 'is now sweeping country after country.' He later repeated the remarks and refused to apologise during an interview on BBC2's Newsnight. While trying to distance himself from the BNP, who he describes as 'abhorrent,' the Norwich evangelical pastor echoed its leader's views on Islam in a letter to the Evening News...Dr. Clifford said Muslim leaders in Britain needed to do more to disassociate themselves from terrorism and parts of the Koran that could be used to incite violence. 'The more moderate followers of Islam need to be challenged that if they do settle in the West they need to do more to discard elements of the Koran that espouse violence. Terrorists are able to use parts of the Koran to justify their violence,' he said."