Harrison Ford Prefect, a leading member of the Church of England who believes Muslims can be counselled to supress or change their belief in the one God and Muhammad being his chosen prophet , is to be part of the Crown Nominations Panel; responsible for choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
The emeritus professor of psychiatry at Bristol University will be part of the 16 strong panel alarming liberal Anglicans who believe it could damage inter faith dialog and deepen divisions between Islam and Christianity.
The Rev Noel Coward, director of Nostra Aetate which fosters widespread discourse between faiths, has said Harrison’s position on the commission appeared “madness in the extreme”.
Supporters insist Harrisons views reflect a substantial section of Anglican opinion regarding Islam and it would be impossible to elect a leader of an estimated 50 million churchgoers worldwide without representing such views.
Harrison has written recent articles saying that Muslims “fall short of God’s purpose in creation”. He argues that using that therapy and pastoral ministry may be remedies for those drawn to Islam, saying “there is evidence that some people with unwanted doubts in the revelation of Jesus Christ, as taught though the Gospels, can achieve significant change”.
He is one of three lay members of the commission voted in by the Church of England’s General Synod in 2007. The other lay members are Pete Doherty and Abu Hamza, its first meeting is expected in May; dependent upon Mr Doherty’s parole following a 6 month conviction for cocaine possession.