Rowan Williams, the archbishop who raised controversy last year
by claiming that Britain should adopt shari'a into its system, now says that more people are coming around to his POV
(Hat tip: Jihad Watch
The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended his controversial comments about the introduction of Islamic law to Britain and claimed that public opinion is now behind him.
On the anniversary of the interview in which Dr Rowan Williams said it "seems inevitable" that some parts of sharia would be enshrined in this country's legal code, he claimed "a number of fairly senior people" now take the same view.
Well he's right about that. A judge mentioned here
and below took his view, some MPs do, and so too do some cabinet secretaries.
He added that there is a "drift of understanding" towards what he was saying, and that the public sees the difference between letting Muslim courts decide divorces and wills, and allowing them to rule on criminal cases and impose harsh punishments.
However critics insist that family disputes must be dealt with by civil law rather than according to religious principles, and claim the Archbishop's comments have only helped the case of extremists while making Muslim women worse off, because they do not have equal rights under Islamic law.
The Archbishop, the most senior cleric in the Church of England, faced calls to resign last February when he said it was likely that elements of the religious principles based on the Koran, concerning marriage, finance and conflict resolution, would be enshrined in British legislation one day.
But in July he was supported by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, who was then the Lord Chief Justice, while it later emerged that five sharia courts are already operating mediation systems under the Arbitration Act, and that the Government allows Islamic tribunals to settle the custody and financial affairs of divorcing couples and send their judgements to civil courts for approval.
When asked at a recent conference of Anglican leaders in Egypt whether he feels he has been vindicated, Dr Williams replied: "It's been quite interesting to see how a number of fairly senior people have observed that certain kinds of limited aspects of Muslim law are imaginable within a British legal framework, without upsetting the apple cart of undermining human rights.
"People are maybe beginning to distinguish the general question of Muslim law, and the extremes of appalling practice which disfigure it in so many parts of the world or the extremes of trying to push Sharia law upon an entire society.
"So I think there is a drift of understanding of what I was trying to say, perhaps I like to think so."
But Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "He has started a process which is deeply dangerous, damaging to Britain and to Muslim women in Britain."
You got that right, pal. The archbishop also doesn't seem to know just what "harsh punishments" could mean under Islam.
"It was a wicked move because it undermines the progressives and gives succour to the extremists.
"How does the Archbishop of Canterbury know, sitting in Lambeth Palace, that a woman in Bolton has volunteered to give up half her inheritance to her brother?"
Neil Addison, a barrister who specialises in religious discrimination cases, said: "I think the Archbishop has failed to give a justification for sharia law. What's the advantage it would bring to British Muslims and to British law?
"I believe his speech was deeply harmful to British Muslims because it helps the separation of them from the rest of society.
"What he was asking for was sharia dealing with wills and divorce, which are public areas of law, not private ones."
Harmful to Muslims? Not exactly. It's harmful to Muslim women, that's for sure, but it's also harmful to the indigenous society in Britain, because segragation is exactly what the Islamists want, until they can bring the rest of the population under their influence as well.
Labels: Christianity, dhimmitude, islam, londonistan, misogyny