Friday, February 08, 2008

Another post on the Archbishop of Canterbury

Hello visitors from The Corner. There are a series of posts below this one setting out my views on the Archbishop's speech and linking to the work of others who set out the legal context. Read those for background on the issue and why anger at his statements isn't just a shallow response to the headlines.

There have been a few good articles and interesting developments on this issue in the last few hours. First, the Times reports calls from senior members of the Church for his resignation:

"A senior Church of England clergyman called today for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, over his remarks supporting Sharia in England.

The call, from a long-standing member of the Church's governing body, the General Synod, demonstrated the strength of the backlash Dr Williams that faces from within his own Church — as well as from political and other faith leaders."

It's great news that someone is standing up to this lunacy at the top of the established Church. There is another gem in the article:

"Virtually the only organisation to have come out on Dr Williams's side of the debate was the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which said that the media response to the Archbishop's speech could "only be described as a fanatical and emotional outpouring of exaggeration, misrepresentative statements, untruths and sometimes vitriolic hatred"."

Hizb ut Tahrir have come very close to being banned as dangerous extremists. If they are "virtually the only organisation" to have come out on his side he really has fallen into sorry company.

Douglas Murray, of the Centre for Social Cohesion, echoes calls for Williams' resignation and points out one, terrible, consequence of the Archbishop's comments:

"I've just been speaking with a Muslim friend who has always opposed sharia law. 'Where does it leave me', he asks, 'when the Archbishop of Canterbury is calling for sharia?'"

The many moderates within British Islam are being abandoned once again by an establishment enthusiastically giving succour to radicals.

Finally, the Telegraph's "Holy Smoke" blog points out the international implications:

"For years, African Anglicans have been threatening to blow the "Communion" to smithereens unless Rowan Williams follows their line on homosexuality. He has duly fallen in with their wishes, despite his long (and, in retrospect, phoney) record as a defender of gay rights. But now that Williams has said nice things about Sharia, his credibility in Africa will be destroyed.

Anglicans in parts of Nigeria live under what is, in effect, totalitarian Sharia. It goes without saying Williams does not defend the stoning of adulterous women and other charming Islamic practices. But, in his interview with the BBC, his condemnation of "bad" Sharia is deeply buried in acres of Vichyite waffle about the need to see Sharia "case by case within an overall framework of the principles laid down in the Koran and the Hadith"."

Williams should resign.

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