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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Loony Archbishop of Canterbury told to quit

Dr Rowan Williams, the loony Archbishop of Canterbury has been criticized for his statement saying the UK should adapt parts of Islamic law. And now senior members of the church are calling for him to just get the heck out. Why are thy so surprised, we are talking about a man who has taken the side of radical terrorists almost every opportunity. See The Ayatollah of Canterbury His comments about Sharia Law is just an outgrowth of that.

Archbishop under pressure to quit
The Archbishop of Canterbury continues to face calls for his resignation despite attempts to defuse the row over his Islamic Sharia law comments.

Dr Rowan Williams has been condemned from inside and outside his church for saying the adoption of parts of the law was "unavoidable" in Britain.

At least two General Synod members have called for him to quit and he has been heckled as he left a church service.

But supporters say his comments have been misinterpreted.

The archbishop is said to be shocked and hurt by the hostility his comments have provoked, and on his website he said he "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".

However the criticism mounted as his predecessor Lord George Carey accused Dr Williams of overstating the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes.

'Brilliant scholar'

Writing in the News of the World, Lord Carey warned: "His acceptance of some Muslim laws within British law would be disastrous for the nation."

But he said Dr Williams should not be forced to quit over his remarks, adding: "He is a great leader in the Anglican tradition and he has a very important role to play in the Church."

I sense he would be far happier in a university where he can kick around these sorts of ideas
Synod member Col Edward Armitstead

Members of the Synod - the Church of England's national assembly - will have the opportunity of tabling a motion to discuss the issue at the body's biannual meeting, starting on Monday.

Dr Williams was offered support by the Right Reverend George Cassidy, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, who branded the reaction "hysterical" and said the archbishop was simply trying to take forward a serious public debate.

Meanwhile, the Very Reverend Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark Cathedral, said the archbishop's advisors were not up to the job.

Biblical leadership

"I have said to him on many occasions that his staff actually aren't up to the job and he needs a bigger staff and more expert advice," he said.

Islamic Sharia law is a legal and social code designed to help Muslims live their daily lives, but it has proved controversial in the West for the extreme nature of some of its punishments.

Col Edward Armitstead, a Synod member from the diocese of Bath and Wells, was among those calling for Dr Williams to step down, telling the Daily Telegraph: "I don't think he is the man for the job."

He is undoubtedly one of the finest minds of this nation
Rt Rev Stephen Lowe

He said: "One wants to be charitable, but I sense that he would be far happier in a university where he can kick around these sorts of ideas."

Alison Ruoff, a Synod member from London, said: "Many people, huge numbers of people, would be greatly relieved [if he resigned] because he sits on the fence over all sorts of things and we need strong, Christian, biblical leadership right now, as opposed to somebody who huffs and puffs around and vacillates from one thing to another.

"He's a very able, a brilliant scholar as a man but in terms of being a leader of the Christian community I think he's actually at the moment a disaster."

'A disaster'

Brig William Dobbie, a former Synod member, described the archbishop as "a disaster, a tragic mistake".

Sharia law is Islam's legal system
It is derived from the Koran and the life of the prophet Mohammed
Sharia rulings help Muslims understand how they should lead their lives
A formal legal ruling is called a fatwa
In the West, Sharia courts deal mainly with family and business issues
English law recognises religious courts as a means of arbitration

The statement on the archbishop's website said Dr Williams had pointed out that "as a matter of fact, certain provisions of Sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law".

The statement said he was "exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience".

It also said his principal aim was "to tease out some of the broader issues around the rights of religious groups within a secular state".

And he said he did not initiate the idea but simply agreed when that proposition was put to him.

Dr Williams made his first public appearance since the controversy erupted at a thanksgiving service on Saturday but made no comment on the row.

'Politically naive'

The service, at Great St Mary's in Cambridge, was held to give thanks for the life of the Rev Professor Charles Moule, a New Testament scholar who died last year.

As Dr Williams left the church, one person shouted "resign" and a couple of people booed, but there were no signs of any protests.

The archbishop has been defended by the most senior woman priest in the Church of England, the Dean of Salisbury the Very Reverend June Osborne, who said he was right to discuss Sharia law.

"We can say he may have been politically naive [but] I don't think he was.

"Our society needs to be provoked into talking about these things. I would say that all of the law of Britain has got to work within the very high standards of human rights and Christian principles."

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it was grateful for the archbishop's "thoughtful intervention" on the discussion of the place of Islam and Muslims in modern Britain.


NormanF said...

Europe is already post-Christian. But with a vacuum of values something is going to define the Continent's culture in the future. That something is Islam. To fair, the Archbishop of Canterbury was just saying openly what every one knows will likely come to pass within a generation. Islam is not compatible with Judeo-Christian values. But to say that would violate the multicultural conceit currently fashionable to the effect that all value systems are equal. The Muslims think there's is superior to that of the infidels and given the feeble state of what passes for European Christianity, they are probably right.

The writing is on the wall.

Gila said...

Good post. It will be interesting (not to mention rather frightening) to see how the Archbishop and his words are viewed in 10 or 20 years time, once the furor has died down and shaaria law has been instituted or Europe has taken a stand and said "Ad Kahn".

Parallels with those speaking for and against Nazi Germany back in the 1930's are running through my head....