The Archbishop of Canterbury has today said that the adoption of Islamic Sharia law in the UK is "unavoidable" and that it would help maintain social cohesion.
Rowan Williams told BBC 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.
He says that Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court. He added Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".
Dr Williams said there was a place for finding a "constructive accommodation" in areas such as marriage - allowing Muslim women to avoid Western divorce proceedings.
First, let's review. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the highest-ranking official in the Church of England - more or less, the Anglican pope. And, although England does have legal freedom of religion, the Anglican church is the official and established religion there. One of the titles of the King of England is "Defender of the Faith" - and by "faith", they mean the Church of England.
Not only is he the head of a religion, but the Archbishop is well-connected to the national government. A certain number of the seats in the House of Lords are reserved for high-ranking clerics of the Church of England. Although the church and the House of Lords have much less power than they once did, there's still a legal connection.
This high-ranking, well connected member of the establishment is saying not only that his religion is dying, but his country's legal and political structure are doomed as well.
It's amazing that Dr. Williams suggests that Englishmen need to "face up to the fact" that some citizens do not relate to the British legal system. Now, thus far, he's stating nothing more than the obvious. It's long been apparent that the Muslims in Britain don't feel bound by the customs or laws that have prevailed there for hundreds of years and which are the basis of our own American customs and laws.
The British House of Commons is rightly referred to as the "Mother of Parliaments", since it was the very first modern representative government in the entire Western world. Modern freedom and democracy evolved out of English history beginning with the Magna Carta and on down the line.
This individual is not merely saying that his own religion, and his own culture, but indeed his own laws, are of no effect in his own land! Lest we forget, the rules of Islamic sharia are very very far removed from anything that we would recognize as fair or just. Of course we're all familiar with the brutal punishments meted out - chopping off of the hands of thieves, public beheadings for various crimes - but these are just the most visible abhorrences of sharia.
A particular aspect of sharia law that might be of interest to Englishwomen, is that a woman's testimony is legally considered to be half that of a man. In other words, for every man testifying on one side of a court battle, you have to come up with two women on the other side to be considered even. It doesn't take much imagination to understand why rape cases in Muslim lands tend not to come out very well for the victim, and why divorce and custody cases are pretty lopsided as well.
Speaking of divorce, we see that Dr. Williams specifically referenced divorce as being one area of law where sharia could profitably be applied. Now, as a man, one can see his point - after all, being able to divorce a wife simply by saying "I divorce thee!" three times, would certainly save a great deal of money on lawyer's bills, alimony, child-support, and so on. But is that really the direction that he wants England to move in?
The most chilling quote in this article is the one in which Dr. Williams expressed the opinion that Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty." Well, when your culture encourages the oppression of women, the suicide bombing of innocents - in fact, the use of unwitting retarded people to deliver suicide bombs - and has no particular objection to causing slaughter on the subway system of the nation in which you live - then yes, it seem pretty clear that the alternatives are about as stark as they could be, and a clear choice between them should be encouraged if not absolutely demanded.
In 1162, King Henry II found his archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, to be a problem. "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" he roared - whereupon, several of his knights went to Canterbury and hacked Archbishop Becket to death in front of the altar in his own cathedral. We're not suggesting quite such extreme measures, but England - and all of Western society - needs to be rid of apologists for Sharia barbarism, or there will be no Western culture to defend.