Shariah Law and the Bishop…

Well – the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, seems to have caused more fuss than he might have anticipated. If you see the papers today – you will see why:

What is not clear, really, is what he actually said/meant… You can listen to his actual comments via the BBC page at
Was he suggesting that we allow some communities to opt out of the British criminal law? I don’t think he meant this at all. He seemed to actually be referrring to very particular civil matters – like divorce an finance – rather than the caricature of his view that some of the papers have gone for….

He points out that we already have accommodations within the law for Orthodox Jews, and for Roman Catholic views – what he suggests, whether you like it or not (and I am not sure I do), is not a new thing, or a first…
For details on the way in which religious courts are already in use in the UK see:

It is almost more interesting to look at the reaction, than it is is to listen to his actual comments: the word Shariah is so provocative that it causes such a cloud of panic that no one can see through it….


jasonrpe says:

Did anybody see wuerstion time last night? it was very indicitive of popular opinion on the subject right now. As i understand it, provision is already Made for Muslims in matter ssuch as divorce, and rightly so in my opinion. I see absolutely no problem whatsoever with certain aspects of shari law being allowed to be implemented by consenting Muslims – all parties consenting – within the U.K. And, of course, any provisions currently made for Catholics or jews should be extended to muslims, as long as none of these directly contridict domestic Uk Law, which from my understanind does not and would not happen.

jasonrpe says:

I meant Question time of course, i apologise I had my 2 year old daughter trying to ‘ help me type’ at the time!

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