Saturday, February 09, 2008

Attack on secularism

[New Statesman] 9 Feb 2008--Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, is generally considered to be unusually intelligent for an Anglican prelate. His interventions in public debate are generally thoughtful and serious, and he has a background as a successful academic theologian. But his pronouncements this week on the prospect of adopting sharia law in the UK rank high in the list of the most unhelpful and perplexing utterances from a major public figure in recent years.

In a speech on Thursday night at the Royal Courts of Justice on 'Civil and Religious Law in England', Williams made the startling claim that giving official sanction to sharia in the UK was "unavoidable" if the Muslim community are not be "faced with the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

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