Archbishop of Canterbury betrays faith and nation - Printable Version
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Archbishop of Canterbury betrays faith and nation - Louis - 07-02-2008
Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable' - Taken from the BBC
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The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
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".
An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger
In an exclusive interview with BBC correspondent Christopher Landau, ahead of a lecture to lawyers in London later on Monday, Dr Williams argues this relies on Sharia law being better understood. At the moment, he says "sensational reporting of opinion polls" clouds the issue.
He stresses that "nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that's sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states; the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women as well".
But Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts - I think that's a bit of a danger".
Dr Williams adds: "What we don't want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people's religious consciences."
"We don't either want a situation where, because there's no way of legally monitoring what communities do... people do what they like in private in such a way that that becomes another way of intensifying oppression inside a community."
Under English law, people may devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.
Muslim Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din which already exist in the UK come into this category.
Dr Williams' comments are likely to fuel the debate over multiculturalism in the UK.
Last month, one of Dr William's colleagues, the Bishop of Rochester, said that non-Muslims may find it hard to live or work in some areas of the UK.
The Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said there was "hostility" in some areas and described the government's multicultural policies as divisive.
He said there had been a worldwide resurgence of Islamic extremism, leading to young people growing up alienated from the country they lived in.
He has since received death threats and has been placed under police protection.
archbishop of canterbury betrays faith and nation - kirk yacoub - 08-02-2008
Firstly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is head of the Church of England, a very divided organisation in which there is no cohesion of faith or practise.
Secondly, there is no 'nation' to betray. His comments cannot be understood because he did not know how to express what he wanted to express. If Sharia Law is already being used in the UK, specifically in matters of arbitration, then what he, perhaps, advocates, is already happening. I would suggest that those who join in the hurricane of abuse
against the Archbishop of Canterbury should actually ask muslims about Sharia Law and how it is applied in the muslim community in Britain. It seems to me that most of it is in line with general legal thinking in the UK already. It should also be noted that, just as in British Law, there are divided opinions within the muslim community regarding certain aspects of Sharia Law.
As for the Bishop of Rochester, I must say that, as a resident of Rochester, he does not know what he is talking about. I wonder why he joins in the chorus of racist abuse that is daily poured out upon us by the press, TV and so on. Perhaps he should consult the Gospels in which Christ tells us that it is peacemakers who are blessed. He should also take note of the activities of the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches who are actively striving for reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
Finally, the only nation Christians belong to is the Kingdom of Heaven, all else is self-deception.
Re: archbishop of canterbury betrays faith and nation - Louis - 08-02-2008
With respect I will give an answer to that post.
Quote:Firstly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is head of the Church of England, a very divided organisation in which there is no cohesion of faith or practise.
The Church of England is relatively cohesive compared to some Protestant groups and besides they are still Christians and the Arcbishop is representing a Christian group, the largest in Britain and especially England. For the head of such a group to promote Sharia law is quite unbelievable.
Quote:Secondly, there is no 'nation' to betray.
The British nations are quite real, quite innate, and quite relavent even if at the very core artificial in construction. The archbishop is in effect betraying his nation by advocating an alien legal code to work alongside the secular legal code that has developed from centuries of British history. He is promoting an alien, unwanted and immoral by our standards practice against the British Christian practices.
Quote:His comments cannot be understood because he did not know how to express what he wanted to express. If Sharia Law is already being used in the UK, specifically in matters of arbitration, then what he, perhaps, advocates, is already happening. I would suggest that those who join in the hurricane of abuse against the Archbishop of Canterbury should actually ask muslims about Sharia Law and how it is applied in the muslim community in Britain. It seems to me that most of it is in line with general legal thinking in the UK already. It should also be noted that, just as in British Law, there are divided opinions within the muslim community regarding certain aspects of Sharia Law.
With respect it is quite irrelevent if Sharia law is already being used, if some Muslims have different interpretations or how it is applied. The simple matter of fact is that it should not be being used. Under British law, which has developed from the British nations history, all are equal before the law and there is no other law besides what comes from Parliament and Common law. Furthermore this is not a practice of the indiginous nations and therefore should not be adopted in official law or in establishments and even more apparent is that Britain is still a Christian nation on which much of our laws have some basis. I would like to keep it that way as would the majority of people, secular or Christian. What the Archbishop proposes is a slippery slope that alongside other politically correct developments promote a dangerous course towards Islamification.
Quote:As for the Bishop of Rochester, I must say that, as a resident of Rochester, he does not know what he is talking about. I wonder why he joins in the chorus of racist abuse that is daily poured out upon us by the press, TV and so on. Perhaps he should consult the Gospels in which Christ tells us that it is peacemakers who are blessed. He should also take note of the activities of the Oriental Orthodox family of Churches who are actively striving for reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
If we went by this line of arguing then it would be said that the Coptic Christians should not be allowed to complain or attempt to remedy the persecution that they are under by Muslims in Eygpt. What makes the 'no-go' areas of cities and the Islamic gangs more offensive is that this is being carried out in a Christian nation that welcomed them. From what I have read these no-go areas are popping up all around the large cities.
I must also point out again that criticising a system of beliefs, a religion, is not the same as racism, which is, as we know, hatred of a person for the colour of their skin. The Bishop of Rochester is himself from minority ethnic background, it is unlikely he was promoting racism.
I must emphasis that one can love all men, one can be tolerant, one can be a Christian and still be permitted to rationally criticise injustices carried out against ones own people and ones own faith. To stand by and not critcise the Archbishops comments would be neglectful of my duty. He is promoting ideas that will cause further division, further hate, the further downfall of Christianity in the west and the further development of a dangerous, enforced, unwanted multicultural ethic that puts great disadvantages to the nations of Europe and could eventually result in their dissapearance. I know to the left wing of politics this may be appealing but to myself it is not!
Quote:Finally, the only nation Christians belong to is the Kingdom of Heaven, all else is self-deception.
A greater nation indeed, one that we all share. But, if you like, God created the diversity of the world, the different peoples, nations, ethnic groups all reflect his glory. I dont see anything wrong in passively holding ones own people in esteem as long as you apply ones Christian ethic to all men also. It is through and from nations that religion has survived and been promoted afterall. I often find it that those who are first to critcise the idea of ethnic groups and the idea of a nation often are the first to also celebrate diversity... a contradiction surely?
This has perhaps raised up a few issues not connected to the matter at hand. But the fact remains the Archbishop by the looks of things was advocating that Islamic law, some of it, be used as an alternative law alongside that of British law and the common law. This is clearly unaccetable if true, and i'm afraid not even the PC press and politicians have not even run to his defence.
I will be interested to see the His Eminence, Abba Serephim's response and that of the BOC.
With the greatest respect and in God,
- Louis - 08-02-2008
There have been calls from the Church of England for the Archbishop to resign.
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- Severus - 08-02-2008
Metropolitan Seraphim has issued a comment on the Archbishop's lecture and his BBC interview:
"The response to the Archbishop of Canterbury?s recently reported comments on Sharia law shows the deep concerns held by many British people about the growth of Islam in the United Kingdom and its impact on our society. The Archbishop is a compassionate and informed churchman and has shown a readiness to dialogue with those of other faiths and none. It is sad, therefore, that much of what he has said has been over-simplified or taken out of context and I would urge all those interested in these issues to read the full text of his lecture ?Civil and Religious Law in England: a religious perspective? and the BBC interview he gave on Radio 4 ?World at One?, which can both be viewed on the Archbishop?s website: <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org">www.archbishopofcanterbury.org</a><!-- w -->
Having said that, however, I find I cannot agree with his suggestion that the introduction of Sharia in ?certain circumstances? will assist social cohesion. Islam, at its core, is not a faith content to regard itself as one of many options. It has a profound sense of its superiority and of the inadequacy of all other faiths. Nor is this awareness restricted to spiritual matters alone, as Islam is a system which embraces every aspect of human existence. It is, by nature, an evangelising and uncompromising faith. For many people here in the United Kingdom, of diverse faith or none, it is ?an alien and rival system.?
Sensitivity to adherents of other faiths, even when we profoundly disagree with them, is something which has come to be a defining characteristic of British society. It does not prevent us from cherishing our own beliefs, but it allows us to live amicably side by side with those who do not share them and, at its best, allows us to identify with values which we do hold in common.
Our society allows others to practise their religion with assurance that the law offers them its full protection against persecution or discrimination. Sadly, the same tolerance is not always demonstrated in other cultures and a number of Islamic countries still discriminate against Christians in a way that is intolerable. In some other Islamic societies, where the Christians have survived as the indigenous population, an inequality exists, which is unjust and discriminatory.
Too often our society concedes significant ground to demonstrate its commitment to humane and equitable principles without requiring mutual concessions from others. Perhaps it is now time for some Islamic societies to show comparable concessions, not only to foreign visitors, but also to those ancient Christian communities among their own citizens, who predate the advent of Islam, so that respect may be seen as truly mutual and provide the soundest foundation for the social cohesion which we all seek."
Metropolitan of Glastonbury
British Orthodox Church within
The Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria
8 February, 2008
- Fr Gregory - 09-02-2008
Just what the Archbishop of Canterbury meant by his call for some form of recognition of Islamic law is unclear to me ? even after reading the text of his speech.
If he is arguing that religious communities ought to be able to impose their own rules on their own members, I would support him. All private associations do this. If Orthodox Christians wish to end a marriage and to remarry within the Church, they are required to abide by and go through the processes of Orthodox Canon Law. If they choose to abandon the Church and only (note that word!) seek a civil dissolution of their marriage and undergo a civil re-marriage, the Church has no role or right in preventing them from doing so.
What might be though of as private religious law has long co-existed with civil or secular law (for example, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Canon Law, and Jewish law). But it is just that: private religious law, voluntarily accepted by those who adhere to the religion concerned. It does not apply within the general society, or to anyone who does not agree to accept it. It does not create different classes of person in the context of the civil law. Orthodox Canon Law may deny that a couple are divorced, but that does not interfere with their right to remarry under civil law after a civil divorce. Nor does it prevent non-Orthodox from obtaining civil divorces and remarrying.
If the Archbishop is proposing that some private religious law (be that the law of Judaism, Islam or Orthodox Christianity) should be equated with the civil law of the State, in which citizens may be of any or no religious adherence, then his proposal is ill-conceived and objectionable.
If my Moslem neighbours (and students) wish to individually accept the rule of Islamic law in their private lives, and to be guided or directed in this regard by authorities of an Islam court, I would support their right to do so ? as I would with my Roman Catholic and Jewish neighbours. If they seek to impose their private religious law on me, or to claim exemption from or special status under the civil law of the state within which we all live, I would object most strongly.
- John Charmley - 10-02-2008
I have held back from this because I wanted to have time to read what Rowan Cantuar actually said. The full text is here: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/1575">http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/1575</a><!-- m -->
and there is a commentary here:
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The fact that the British media descended on him like a pack of wild dogs was sufficient to suggest that he had not said what he was reported as saying; anything which unites Matthew Parris in the Times and Simon Heffer in the Telegraph in opposition to it is, experience suggests, probably a good idea.
Fr. Gregory's interpretation is spot on. The ABC was arguing for the right of religious communities to coexist inside a secular system of law and to have the right to object to the latter on grounds of conscience: would we have it any other way? Surely if doctors wish to opt out of performing abortions and Catholic adoption agencies wish to decline to send children to live with gay couples, we in the BOC are not going to object violently? Yet, as the ABC was arguing, this has implications for the Enlightenment view that there is one system of law by which all must abide; that way lies tyranny for those of Faith. If our Faith wishes to have it exceptionalisms recognised by the secular law of the land, should this not also extend to those of other faiths in a society such as our own?
There is certainly no suggestion in anything he says that Sharia Law should replace UK law.
One can, as our own Abba Seraphim does, enter into an informed and intelligent discussion of what the Archbishop is saying; but apart from Abba Seraphim there seems reluctance to engage with the substance of what is being said. Like Abba Seraphim I am concerned at the ways in which an non-Christian system of law might find exceptions for Muslims within the framework of our existing system; but as the ABC admits, this is a suggestion which will need discussion.
I am delighted (but hardly surprised) that it should be Abba Seraphim who has begun the process of actually engaging with what the Archbishop has said.
I despair of British public life. How we can have any informed discourse on such matters with the Murdoch press circling like vultures, I don't know. What is really sad about this is to see how far the rest of the press has been Mordochised. 'What a burka!' is the sort of thing one expects from the Sun, but I have been deeply disappointed to see the Telegraph follow suit. The anti-intellectual tone of the press is, frankly depressing. The tone of criticism which goes: 'Oh well, it's a bit complicated and too academic for us, so let's rubbish him' marks a new low in public discourse. Given that most of the journalists are graduates I wonder what we have been training them to do. If they can't spend an hour or so reading a speech and trying to understand it, shame on them. If they haven't the intellectual equipment to actually comprehend what he was saying, then the decline and fall of British education at tertiary level seems in sight!
If one wishes to see a secular system of law which will allow no sensitivity to our own Faith and the obligations it imposes on us, then one might join the outcry against the Archbishop. If one does not want that, one might join Abba Seraphim in attempting to engage with what he is saying.
archbishop of canterbury betrays faith and nation - kirk yacoub - 15-02-2008
Hopefully this post will get onto the system and not disappear into that fabled land called cyber space.
The very title of this subject shows how deeply media-speak has penetrated our society. Reasoned debate is elbowed aside by the very words of this title and would 'grace' the front page of that hate-filled open sewer called the Daily Mail. The hysteria that greeted whatever it was that the Archbishop of Canterbury was trying to say (we're not actually supposed to know that, it spoils the 'fun') made it obvious that the real issue is that, according to those who run the media and the country, we must hate Muslims, and that if we don't then we are somehow either idiots or traitors.
Fanatics who use Islam to further political ends are a small minority, the vast majority of muslims being normal law-abiding citizens. But we are never allowed to remember that, nor are Muslims given a real say in explaining who and what they really are. I noted with horror that an MP has accused Muslims of inbreeding (!) which suggests that the ghost of Adolf Hitler is stalking the Commons. It seems very obvious to me that Muslims are being prepared as the sacrificial lambs to take the blame for the failures not only of government economic policy, but all of the UK's social ills. If the Bishop of Rochester had opened his heart before his mouth then he would have realised that there are no Muslim no-go areas in Britain (the Irish side of my family know too well what a no-go area is really like) and that the nearest equivalent are those parts of the inner cities in which white, disaffected youth, high on drink and drugs make certain areas unsafe at night. I know of at least three such areas in Rochester. The Bishop would do well to ponder the fact that many of these teenagers actually take part in racially motivated violence, and that his unhelpful comments only give them encouragement.
It is about time that a few Jeremiahs started giving voice in Britain. As long as people perpetuate the myth that a Christian country gave a welcome to Muslims and that these Muslims are betraying our trust, then there can be no dialogue, no understanding. I would challenge anyone to prove to me that the UK or any other state has ever been Christian. It is not true. The problem with the perpetuation of this myth is that, by helping racists peddle their lies, those who do so actually act as a recruiting sergeant for terrorists. Nor can Christians allow themselves to be allied with the 'born-again' evangelicals who provide the ideology for the Bush administration in carrying out illegal acts of war.
The only hope of solving conflict is by love, Christian love, which precludes name-calling, first stone casting, and hatred. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life, then we must understand that, to convert Muslims, it is necessary to approach them with humility and service, patiently praying for them, patiently talking with them in the way that Christians in the Middle East have done down the centuries.
I only hope that, if serious racial strife is caused by the BNP, their thugs, allied by the gutter press, then all Christians will get to their feet to bar their way.
- John Charmley - 15-02-2008
I agree entirely.
Of course there are some Muslim fanatics who feel that their faith compels them to acts which their own faith condemns; that is not an unknown phenomenon in our own Christian history, as evidenced by the way, for example, some try to wriggle out of the reality of the burnings of the sixteenth century by pointing out that it was the State and not the Church which passed sentence; a Cabinet Minister's spin doctor would be proud of that one. For a Faith founded on a call to repentance we Christians seem to have a problem with saying sorry.
As Christians we are charged to love those who hate us; we might concentrate on that for a time - and find that fewer hate us than we think. At the risk of being controversial it is unclear to me that the foreign policy pursued by our own government in the regions of the world where Muslims are in the majority has done anything to win the hearts and minds of followers of Islam. Talking about 'no go areas' is simply to play to the stereotype peddled by the media; there are plenty of white areas where one would not be advised to go in our inner cities - and plenty where the Faith no longer goes at all. If we, as Christians, could work on that instead of duffing up the Archbishop of Canterbury, it might produce better results.