Home > Culture, Islam, United Kingdom > >Archbishop of Canterbury’s latest unwise pronouncement

>Archbishop of Canterbury’s latest unwise pronouncement

>“There’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law.”

If it had have been said by any other major religious leader then it would have been a truly culture-shattering statement. When it’s said by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose moral compass seemed to break about thirty years ago it’s a less surprising event.

Rowan Williams is supposedly an intelligent man but is living, breathing proof of my aphorism that ‘intelligence does not beget wisdom’, which is one of the reasons that university professors can know so much and understand so little about the world in general and people in particular.

His statement is part of the cultural and moral self-disarmament of Western Europe that has led to a surrender of both cultural integrity and conviction that Western societies are justly ordered.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable”.

Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4’s World at One that the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

I reckon that Pope Benedict might say that all new citizens need to face up to the fact that they should integrate with the culture and laws of Britain or go home. He’d be right, too, in the same way that Australia’s senior politicians in the Liberal Party did over the last couple of years.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

In that case he should support Jack Lacton Law. A ban on politically correct speech, reduce the size of government – and arts grants, no speed cameras, reduced taxes and on the front foot in relation to the global nonsense of the UN, expansionist Islam and ninnies like Chavez, Mugabe, Ahmadinejad and the North Korean lunatic.

For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

He says Muslims should not have to choose between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty”.

Would he agree that a Muslim could go and pray in an Anglican church and cover up all of those offensive Christian symbols? That’d be a stark reality for Anglicans.

In an exclusive interview with BBC correspondent Christopher Landau, ahead of a lecture to lawyers in London on Monday, Dr Williams argues this relies on Sharia law being better understood.

At the moment, he says “sensational reporting of opinion polls” clouds the issue.

How can the reporting of opinion polls be sensational? The fact that the vast majority of Average Joes in the street disagree strongly with the politically correct, cultural suicide being inflicted on the country by its supposed political elites is the sensational bit for the culturally unaware like Rowan Williams.

He stresses that “nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that’s sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states; the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women as well”.

His position is untenable, of course. Those that are promoting the introduction of Sharia Law in Britain have stated that they will do it a bit at a time – and that obviously includes the most heinous parts of Islamic law.

But Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said “there’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts – I think that’s a bit of a danger”.

How can the police actually do their job if certain communities can simply make up the laws they want to follow, which is the natural extension of allowing Sharia Law?

“There’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law.”

Dr Williams added: “What we don’t want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people’s religious consciences.”

The funny bit is that the culturally-correct, intellectual minnows of the left would agree with him while at the same time rejecting religion out of hand as being unnecessary.

“We don’t either want a situation where, because there’s no way of legally monitoring what communities do… people do what they like in private in such a way that that becomes another way of intensifying oppression inside a community.”

The issue of whether Catholic adoption agencies would be forced to accept gay parents under equality laws showed the potential for legal confusion, he said.

“That principle that there is only one law for everybody is an important pillar of our social identity as a western democracy,” he said.

“But I think it is a misunderstanding to suppose that means people don’t have other affiliations, other loyalties which shape and dictate how they behave in society and that the law needs to take some account of that.”

No. It doesn’t.

Dr Williams noted that Orthodox Jewish courts already operated, and that the law accommodated the anti-abortion views of some Christians.

“The whole idea that there are perfectly proper ways the law of the land pays respect to custom and community, that’s already there,” he said.

People may legally devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.

The fact is that these agreements are supported by the existing legal system.

Muslim Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din which already exist in the UK come into this category.

There’s a big difference between Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din. The former imposes outcomes on one party regardless of that party’s agreement that the court has jurisdiction. The latter cannot decide the outcome of disputes without the prior agreement of both parties.

The country’s main Beth Din at Finchley in north London oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes.

Dr Williams’ comments are likely to fuel the debate over multiculturalism in the UK.

And so it should.

Last month, the Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, said some places in the UK were no-go areas for non-Muslims.

Isn’t that a truly profound situation? Britons can’t go wherever they want because of the threat of violence by Muslims? Where are the violent Christian enclaves in the world? Where are the violent Buddhist enclaves? What about the Mormons? Or Hindu? You get the point. Why is Islam the only religion that creates these sorts of no-go zones whenever their population reaches a certain point?

Dr Williams said it was “not at all the case that we have absolute social exclusion”.

Clearly, the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t get out much.

Tolerance, rightly understood, does not include kowtowing to thousand year old barbarism.

(Nothing Follows)

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Categories: Culture, Islam, United Kingdom
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