Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Anglican Archbishop Supports Sharia Law in U.K.

This Fox News report really had me scratching my head! Rev. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has reportedly suggested to have a separate Court for the Muslim population in the U.K. that is to be based on Sharia Law, in a move to allow this population to be more socially cohesive with the existing non-muslim population in the U.K.

The opposite side, Fox News Religious Reporter, Father Jonathan Williams, an American Roman Catholic Priest, refutes this as a 'dangerous warning to the West', and that the sole purpose of civil law is to regulate the people, irrelevant and irrespective of their background. Moreover, he states that should there be any gaps within the two weights, (religion and society) we should make moves to fix them.

The Archbishop's justification for this move was, due to the stark differences in dealing with issues like Women's rights, punishment of crimes, etc..that the Christian population can be separated from the Muslim population where things pertain to 'way of life' issues. This, according to Father Williams, is a clear indication that the Archbishop has consented to the idea that a Western Society is incapable of producing a secular justice system...and this is in direct opposition of the establishment of the Unites States of America.

Let's set some points from History

First: The Catholic Church-historically-has been the prime opposer of any religious freedoms, and the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) is a direct consequence of the Church's inflexibility in this issue.

Second: The United States is a nation built on the need of religious freedoms differences; The mass migration of so many Jewish, Irish - and lately Western European nationals is a direct consequence of this belief.

Third: Williams stated "The archbishop’s implicit support for this Islamic tradition is consequence, I would suggest, of a false understanding of cultural inclusiveness. We should never accept traditions, even religious traditions, as good simply because they are different from ours, or because they have long been attributed to God’s will by some people."

Personally, and as a Muslim, I would suggest that it is Williams that is in error here, by directly violating the very essence of his religion, his nation and his nationality! This statement alone is enough for a whole seminar on these issue!

I can understand the Archbishop's justification, and so did Williams. But the inference that this poses a danger to the Western societies that have a large influx of immigrants-from someone whose background and nationality are both attributed to this very idea-is somewhat 'iffy' in it's logic and intentions.

If anything, the Archbishop's statements show that western cultures have finally come to terms with the fact that Islam is a 'way of life' and not simply a belief system, which is one step closer to social respect and understanding between the two groups.
William's comments, on the other hand, reek of American Superiority wrapped in a velvety cover of religion and moral values....then again, he is a Fox News reporter!

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