Thursday, 14 February 2008

The Ayatollah of Canterbury

We all know by now that the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have turned native and proposed the adoption of Islamic Sharia law as an "enlighted" move that all reasonable people are bound to applaud. It's the kind of thing that makes you shocked though not entirely surprised and causes you to ask "what is the Archbisop of Canterbury for exactly?" Here are some links to key articles that sum up what the man has said and help us cut throught he spin his office has put on this story in recent days, as well as useful information about the exact implications of what he is suggesting. It really is important to know what is being proposed, sometimes even already accomplished in our name in the UK and to make our feelings known. In an excellent article in the Mail on Sunday Peter Hitchens comments:

"I know of nowhere else where those most richly rewarded by a free society are so anxious to trash the place that gave them birth and liberty. "

An article in the Wall Street Journal carried the comment:

"Mr. Williams appears to be suggesting some form of "Shariah lite," as if one could pick the bits of Islamic jurisprudence that might be acceptable in Western democracies and reject the rest. That's an awfully slippery slope. The best guarantee for social cohesion and religious freedom is the primacy of secular law that's blind to anyone's faith."

While Melanie Phillips, author of the alrmingly revealing book Londonistan (Gibson Square, 2006), in a Daily mail article pulled no punches, calling Rowan Williams an "arch-muddler, cynical, disingenuous to the point of being downright misleading". In the article she gives "seven dealdy reasons why the Archbishop shouldn't be allowed to get away with it" and ends:

"Don't forget Dr Williams is the head of a church whose members, in countries such as Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan and elsewhere, are being persecuted, harassed, attacked, forcibly converted and murdered in large numbers at the hands of the enforcers of sharia law.

By proposing to entrench sharia law in Britain, he has both betrayed his besieged flock worldwide and weakened Britain against the danger that it faces from the same Islamist enemy that threatens Christians around the world.

That, disgracefully, is what the Synod rose to its feet to applaud when it gave Dr Williams its standing ovation.

No, there was no public misunderstanding over the Archbishop's remarks. People understood precisely what he was saying.

But now he has compounded that gross misjudgment by spinning it as cynically as any venal politician. For shame. "

Read her "Seven Deadly Reasons":

But perhaps most importantly are the words of Christians who deal with this issue on the ground every day. The Barnabus Fund has issued the following response to the Archbishop's speech:

Final Comment

We live in a multicultural society, that is an established fact. It is very like the world into which the gospel was taken by the apostles and we need to take to heart the words of Paul:

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be carefulto do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone" (Ro.12:17/18)

But we must never forget that Christ is the only way, that we are called as Christians to take the good news to everyone, and we are instructed to, "Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3).

If the Archbishop had made this his sole aim, to know only Christ and him crucified, and speak for the faith he purports to lead then maybe he would have drawn plaudits instead of criticism, and gained a better reputation for an already beleagured Christian Church in the UK.

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