BBC News Radio Four got a little more than it bargained for when it interviewed Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The leader of the Anglican Church, already embroiled in a huge controversy about the ordination of open Homosexuals as Bishops, for some reason felt the urge to open yet another large number 10 size can of worms.
The good doctor decided to weigh in on the Islamic community and the implementation of Sharia Law in the
“Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the
Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
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". “
There is more at the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7232661.stm including Dr Williams’ statement that enacting Sharia law “would help maintain social cohesion.” No, seriously, it is there in the article.
In a way it is comforting to see that there is still no shortage of muddled thinking in the
Peel back what is the subtext being peddled here. Those poor dears, the Muslims, they are having such a terrible time adjusting to our way of doing thing here. We really can’t expect them to act like normal people now can we? No, they are a people apart and we must make allowances for them. We must allow them to indulge in their quant ways. Not for them our regular laws that have been developed over centuries. We can not expect them to understand that our form of government is based secular authority. They can not be expected to understand our norms based on reason, judgment, and tradition. Yes they did decide to leave their Muslim polity, left the rule of the Ummah, and entered a nation governed by secular authority; but that is no matter, they must be allowed to set up there own little Riyadhs, Kandahars, and Istanbuls in the heart of
It is odd that the westerners are not being extended the any sort of quid pro quo from the Muslim world. We can not be-bop down the streets of
In a sense it is the same dreary jingoism and chauvinism that fueled the Imperil march of Great Brittan in the 18th and 19th century. Back then at least the pasty white empire builders were decent enough to call a spade a spade and a wog a wog. Even now brown people are still seen as somehow as damaged goods. Somehow they just can’t cope, they can’t adapt, and they need special dispensation. No the Muslims must be a people apart. Not for them the idea of equal justice under the law, not for them the idea of equality under the law, not for them the great gift of the enlightenment : both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Not for them the protections of civil society—they just can’t handle secular society, the poor benighted souls.
Not that the
How about we let the West be the West that is secular? How about we enforce the rule of law and the primacy of civil society that has been the norm in
Let’s be clear, by setting up any kind of Sharia law that is separate from civil law we automatically have unequal protection. Separate is inherently unequal. The good doctor should have reviewed Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas before spouting off on the subject.
Let us also be clear on rights and responsibilities. Liberals and leftist are keen on illuminating rights while ignoring responsibilities. By coming to the UK or any other country out of the orbit of the Ummah , by coming to a place where Islam is a minority religion , Muslims pick up the responsibility of adapting to secularism—not vice versa.
Granted the immigrants life is a hard one. One becomes a person apart, the only people who really understand you are other immigrants. One becomes doomed to be neither fish nor fowl. But it is a choice made by ambition, by circumstance, by the individual. One has chosen to cut oneself off from the mother culture and be a stranger in a strange land. For whatever reasons one leaves their native land one knows that they are going to have to cope with fundamental change.
The adopted land owes the immigrant absolutely nothing, not a job, not shelter, not understanding, nothing above and beyond what it offers the rest of its citizens. The immigrant chooses his new land; the new nation does not choose the immigrant. At best a nation may ask for people with specific skills but only as a group. Einstein choose the USA and while the USA was quite happy to receive him it never specifically asked him to come over to the land of the free and home of the brave. The
Ultimately this is about real equality and unity. There can not be one law for Muslims, another for Jews, yet another for Buddhists, quite a different one for Mormons and a totally different law for Wiccans. One nation, one standard, zero opt outs. In
Not that tradition doesn’t matter on this side of the pond either. We have these quant ideas about the right of conscience and the separation of church and state. They are written on a scrap of paper known as the Constitution. Thanks to Cheney-Bush the Constitution is not what it used be; all the more reason to resist any more assaults on it.
The Bush minions have been especially busy injecting Dominionist Christianity into the decision making arms of the government. This corruption of the core political values of the
The founders built a church-state wall for a reason: to protect the Government from Religion and to protect Religion from the Government. It always ends in tears when Government and Religion get entwined. In the end both Religion and Government end up deeply sullied and corrupt. In the end Religion and Government loose the respect of the people and the door is opened to radical and disastrous notions.