The Archbishop of Canterbury sure did make a mess the other day when he
pronounced his divine insight that British law should in some instances
defer to Shari'a law. Of course, he never quite stipulated in what areas
he was so eager for Commons to devolve its powers to the mullahs. And,
moreover, he never quite explained who would decide which of Shari'a's
multiple fiats were to be imposed on Muslim inhabitants of Britain and how
this would be decided. What about corporal punishment of wives and
women...and children, for that matter? I assume that "honor killings" of
wives and daughters and cousins and of gays, in general, would still be
frowned upon by the church. But, still...
In any case, the immediate response from the religious and secular public
was either incomprehension or outrage. Somehow, the Brits understood that
what was being traduced by the Reverend Rowan Williams -- oh, so casually and
oh, so vaguely -- was the tremendum of English law. It is, of course, no
longer surprising that the mainstream Protestant churches no longer see
themselves as bearers of honorable traditions. But what do they do to
their own history and legacies is their own business.
So why not go back to the old compromise between church and state? The
church should stick to its own business. It certainly should not trample
onto the ground where society and Islam are in struggle.
Oh, yes, the ruling body of the Anglican Church met yesterday and gave
cheer to the archbishop. According to an article in Tuesday's FT, the
archbishop then took "responsibility for any unclarity...and for any
misleading choice of words that has helped to cause distress or
misunderstanding among the public at large and especially among my fellow
Christians." This is the usual weasel wording of someone who has been
forced to retract something in which he deeply believes. But he did not
mention Shari'a law again. Bless the Lord.