1. For fuck’s sake.

    This is one of those things you just can’t write coherently about, it’s both infuriating and impossible to take seriously.

    Liberals should be the ones who are most against this kind of business, that’s all I’ll say.

  2. I think words were failing him too; he didn’t seem to be at all coherent….

    He’s just clearing the path so that he can start arguing for special laws for Christians; like not having to stick to antidiscrimination legislation.

    Did he give any thought to how this would be implemented? Apart from just being wrong, wrong, wrong it would mean you’d have people jumping in and out of different religions depending on the legal advantage it would engender.

    Accountants and lawyers would start advising on ‘conversions’ as well as sensible tax planning!!


    Ridiculous man.

  3. He does seem to be focussing on the whole on civil matters. Couldn’t two people agree arbitration under any system as alternative to going to court anyway? Isn’t that how Judge Judy works?

  4. Apart from just being wrong, wrong, wrong it would mean you’d have people jumping in and out of different religions depending on the legal advantage it would engender.

    Of course, David Cameron would support him on that one.

    He does seem to be focussing on the whole on civil matters. Couldn’t two people agree arbitration under any system as alternative to going to court anyway? Isn’t that how Judge Judy works?

    If what he’s really talking about is a liberalising of the law to allow for different ways of negotiating civil matters without the state being involved, so long as we’re clear about the primacy of human rights, I wouldn’t be concerned. I have no objection to the recent liberalising legislation for Islamic Mortgages for instance, indeed I welcome it.

    But that means going the whole hog and allowing flexible rules for gay couples, for instance, something his church has been increasingly hostile to.

    But actually, he’s going further, saying “What we don’t want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people’s religious consciences.”

    Well, actually that depends on what “people’s religious consciences” are telling them. Many “honour” killers will justify their actions based on their religious consciences. We can argue the theology behind that until the cows’ come home but if we end up in a situation where such a debate become a defence in a court case, however tenuous it may be, we’re fucked.

  5. Dr Williams argues that adopting some aspects of Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

    Yees, “One law for them, one law for us” has always been fantastic for social cohesion.

    It’s all just…wow. He’s set himself a high bar for ridiculous statements but he’s reached a whole new level here.

  6. The article says, “For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.”

    As it goes on to explain further down certainly in financial matters English law already allows for parties to agree how any disputes will be resolved – eg binding arbitration clauses, agreements to refer to trade bodies. To that extent two Muslims (or two non-Muslims come to that) deciding that any dispute over a contract will be decided by a Sharia court is perfectly consistent with English law.

  7. Hywel, I thought I’d already acknowledged that, but in rhetoric at least, Williams appears to be going much further.

    I guess I’ll have to read the whole speech. Damn, that’s two of his speeches I have to read now.

  8. Why doesn’t he just resign ? He doesn’t believe in Christianity anyway and the mess he has made of the Anglican community beggars belief.

    He should shut his mouth and stick to scripture or advise the entire Anglican communion to ‘go over’ to Rome at least Benedict is not trying to make his Church fashion conscious.

    It is a disgrace that a religious leader should effectively be chosen by NuLabour in the first place – what an irretrievably decadent farce.

  9. He cites the fact that Orthodox Jews already have their own courts to decide divorce settlements. Whilst I would not want any aspect of Sharia law adopted here- and to be honest most sensible Muslims wouldn’t either, as it would simply be another stick to beat everyone with, if there are already exceptions, where does it leave the argument of one law for all?

  10. I must admit, when I saw this title I thought “goodness me, James Graham really is going too far with his sensational headlines”. Then I saw the original article, and I have to agree – words fail me too (not that I’ve been writing much about anything at all recently!).

  11. As born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are utterly astounded at what Rowan Williams has said. He is head of the Church of England and should uphold the Christian faith of this country, as well as recognizing that the laws of this land come from the Ten Commandments. He should stand down and perhaps it might be a good idea if he were to live in a Muslim country where they practice Sharia law then he would not only be able to ask the people who suffer under this law what they think but he could experience it for himself. Sharia law in any form in this country is the greatest step to our becoming a Muslim country.

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  13. Don’t malign Rowan Atkinson by associating him with this piece of idiocy. Atkinson has done sterling work in opposing Labour’s authoritarinism.

  14. teachers, religious leaders – even friends, or so called friends – take over where parents leave off. They demand that we feel only the feelings they want and expect from us. They demand all the time that we perform feelings for them. We’re like actors – turned loose in this world to wander in search of a phantom…endlessly searching for a half-forgotten shadow of our lost reality. When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. It’s a subtle kind of murder….the most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces.

  15. I cannot accuse Rowan Williams of being unintelligent but to raise the issue of Sharia Law in the way he did is an act of extreme stupidity

    It his not his job to talk on behalf of Muslims – it is his role to stand up for and talk on behalf of Christians – although I am Jewish I feel that Christianity in this country needs to be stronger

    He rubbished the traditional idea of Christmas and brought sadness at that time to millions of people who had been brought up with this tradition

    By his actions he has weakened the role of Christianity in the country and increased the chances of an anti Islamic backlash in this country

    I hope he will be encouraged to do the honourable thing and to fall upon his sword

  16. Seem the Archbishop knows better than the Muslim Council of Britain and ALL those so called Muslim organisation in Britaim and all over the world!

    He IS in tune with the Muslim community than ANYONE else – just as he is with the Chrisitian communties!

    I think, Rowan Williams should be made the Archbishop of the Mosque, too! loool

    By the way, he did not call for a parallel Sharia Law (perhaps he should have) just an ‘understanding’ for some Islamic issues!

    Please, give the man a break!!! (He knows his stuff, that’s all)

  17. He didn’t quite call for sharia law. Having read his speech, if I didn’t know I would say R. Williams is a civil servant! He doesn’t propose anything specific. He’s clearly looking for controversy. The problem is that he doesn’t get the law … more on my blog!

  18. Rowan Williams lacks courage. Christianity has become so unfashionable and derided, that he is afraid to speak up for it, without putting it into a pot with other minority faiths. It is time the state and the Christian faith were separated. Religion should be a matter for personal conscience and neither state nor community should put pressure on anyone to uphold or live by a particular faith. I say that as a Christian. Rowan Williams should give his massive thinking brain a rest and as a Christian, look more closely at the message from the Man Himself, that professes to have a close link to.

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