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Archbishop of Canterbury getting his head around Sharia

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The Archbishop of Canterbury: Let’s try some Sharia!

The recent speech by Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, about allowing British Law to get just a little pregnant with Sharia Law …

There’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law …

… is just the tip of the iceberg. The Archbishop is a real piece of work and no friend of moral principles – let alone Christianity.

Herald Sun columnist, Andrew Bolt, raises an excellent question:

Williams suggests Britain can recognise some sharia laws while rejecting others – the ones with “extreme punishments” and bad “attitudes to women”.

But if Britain is to recognise some religious laws of Muslims, to what higher authority does it appeal in rejecting others?

The Archbishop admits his own void of understanding of that which he seeks to accommodate:

This lecture will not attempt a detailed discussion of the nature of sharia, which would be far beyond my competence

From the vantage point of Dr Williams’ self-admitted incompetence, he doesn’t hesitate to express his disdain towards “what most people think they know of sharia” – in contrast to what Dr Williams knows he doesn’t know about it:

… [that] it is repressive towards women and wedded to archaic and brutal physical punishments;

For instance, he says …

… just a few days ago, it was reported that a ‘forced marriage’ involving a young woman with learning difficulties had been ‘sanctioned under sharia law‘ – the kind of story that, in its assumption that we all ‘really‘ know what is involved in the practice of sharia, powerfully reinforces the image of – at best – a pre-modern system in which human rights have no role.

Dr Williams doesn’t really know what Sharia consists of but it surely couldn’t be this!

That this is truly a misconception – and an upsetting one at that – is “freely admitted by Muslim scholars.”

And now The Archbishop turns to one such “Muslim scholar” to illustrate his point:Tariq Ramadan, whom he quotes:

… the idea of Sharia calls up all the darkest images of Islam … It has reached the extent that many Muslim intellectuals do not dare even to refer to the concept [of Sharia] for fear of frightening people or arousing suspicion of all their work by the mere mention of the word.

Goodness! If we believe such awful, horrid things about Sharia WE are the scary ones! WE cause all those brave “Muslim intellectuals” to omit any mention of that which they in fact believe in. WE cause them to hide their Truth.

And this is not just ordinary fear. It is “fear of frightening”.

But it’s not their fault!! It’s YOUR fault, you bigoted infidels!

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If we didn’t have any of those hurtful misconceptions about Sharia, they’d tell us what it really meant. Really!

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But since we don’t understand it, they can’t explain it.

Perhaps at this point you’re wondering who is this “Muslim scholar,” Tariq Ramadan, from whom Dr Williams has quoted?

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Tariq Ramadan

From Daniel Pipes:

  • He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the “future of Islam.”
  • Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.
  • Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had “routine contacts” with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.
  • Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.
  • Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is “any certain proof” that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.
  • He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as “interventions,” minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.
  • Intelligence agencies suspect that Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri (deputy head of Al-Qaeda) and Omar Abdel Rahman (the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison).
  • Ramadan’s address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

Writing for Spiked, the highly perceptive Frank Furedi notes that the Archbishop of Canterbury …

… is not simply demanding more recognition for Sharia but for all forms of religious law.

… he is far more concerned with maintaining and, if possible, enhancing the status of religion more broadly in a secular society.

That he has sought to realise this aim by piggybacking on the forward movement of a competing religion is symptomatic of the malaise afflicting his church.

Far from being a courageous statement, Williams’ speech hides behind Sharia law and fails to spell out its real agenda.

“In conclusion,” says the Archbishop of Canterbury …

… it seems that if we are to think intelligently about the relations between Islam and British law, we need a fair amount of ‘deconstruction‘ of crude oppositions and mythologies, whether of the nature of sharia or the nature of the Enlightenment. But as I have hinted, I do not believe this can be done without some thinking also about the very nature of law.

Indeed, the “crude mythology” of Enlightenment values – especially such notions as common law, applying equally to all, based on universal principles – may well be an obstacle to the advancement of Sharia Law.

Let’s hope so.

By the way, Dr Rowan Williams’ lecture …

… was the first in a series of six lectures and discussions which are being given by senior Muslim and other lawyers and theologians at the Temple Church on the general theme of ‘Islam in English Law‘.

Perhaps the best is yet to come.

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11 Comments

  1. BlairSupporter

    Thoughtful article. The Archbishop has left many of us in a quandary over all of this.

    The beheading picture is dreadful, but should be seen by all who think “we in the west” are the evil ones.

    I’ve linked to this page and used the picture.

    We have a fight on our hands. Especially when no political party has the courage, leadership or wherewithal to deal with it.

    It could leave the already difficult struggle against terrorism looking like childsplay.

    Many thanks.

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  2. PRODOS

    Thanks BlairSupporter.

    The Archbishop has left many of us in a quandary over all of this.

    There’s not much room for quandary. He should be sacked.

    He’s neither supporting British and Enlightenment ideals or Christianity. His speech makes it clear that he doesn’t hold either of those sets of ideals dear to his heart. They are expendable. Britain is expendable. Christianity is expendable.

    His reliance on con artist extraordinaire, Tariq Ramadan tells us the Archbishop wouldn’t know a fact or a right if they bit him in the butt.

    We have a fight on our hands. Especially when no political party has the courage, leadership or wherewithal to deal with it.

    It could leave the already difficult struggle against terrorism looking like childsplay.

    The problem of Muslim militancy within democracies is a great challenge.

    All the more reason to have intellectual, cultural, political, and religious leaders who are up to the challenge. If they’re not, don’t put up with them. Don’t dilly dally about. Dump them. Get the right men and women for the job.

    Win the War.

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  3. BlairSupporter

    Hello Prodos,

    Nice to meet British people who think as I do and are not afraid to call a spade a spade.

    The Americans really do see us as a lost cause.

    If you don’t mind I’ll quote a little bit of your article at my blog.

    I’m still having a fight on my hands with idiots (legal idiots) who think the answer to the world’s problems is to hope/wish/encourage/goad/urge Al Qaeda to assassinate Blair.

    You may not be with Blair politically (neither was I until recently, when I realised that he was trying to get us to face what he often called “this terrorism” but was stopped by his idiotic party), but a word in the ear from someone such as yourself to some of these lefty ‘intelligentsia’ types, might not go amiss.

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  4. BlairSupporter

    Hi again,

    I should have read your earlier page. Just realised you’re an Oz!

    I knew it was too much to hope for – a Brit with common sense, writing in this way.

    ;0)

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  5. PRODOS

    Good morning BlairSupporter.

    Nice to meet British people who think as I do and are not afraid to call a spade a spade.

    Actually, even better: I’m an Aussie! 😀

    But I’ll take being mistaken for a Pom as the highest form of praise. 😉

    The Americans really do see us as a lost cause.

    Do they? I hope that’s not the case.

    My fellow Australians and my American friends are certainly very concerned about what’s going on in Britain and across Europe.

    If you don

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  6. PRODOS

    Good morning BlairSupporter,

    It looks like out posts crossed the earth at the same time without saying G’day along the way!

    I should have read your earlier page. Just realised you

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  7. Emily

    Hhmm… I agree that the whole Sharia thing blew up in Rowan’s face. But before you give up on him completely, have a look at his book, “Open To Judgement.” Some of it is excellent…

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  8. PRODOS

    Thanks for your comment Emily.

    It’s a bit difficult to find time and money to read or buy another book at present. But I will keep it in mind.

    Are there any articles by the Archbishop which you can recommend that illustrate what you mean about him?

    Best Wishes,

    PRODOS

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  9. FreeThinker

    HI PRODOS

    You seem to dislike that T. Ramadan denied that there is any proof that bin Laden in behind 9-11. If you still believe that 9-11 was perpetrated by Islamists and Muslims, then you are deeply and sadly ill-informed, which suggests you are also a victim of the mass propaganda machine. Have a look at infowars.com. They give proof that 9-11 was an inside American job.

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    • PRODOS

      Greetings “FreeThinker”.

      Have a look at infowars.com.

      I’ll do my best to check it out.

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    • PRODOS

      Good afternoon.

      Well, I’ve been studying some of the arguments, questioning, and evidence presented towards showing that the World Trade Center and Pentagon disasters of September 11 2001 were not in fact the result of planes hijacked by terrorists.

      I’m finding the infowars.com case – including the recommended links to videos and essays which I’ve followed up on – to be very unconvincing.

      I’ll continue looking into it, but don’t have any more time to do so today or over the next couple of days.

      Best Wishes,

      PRODOS

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