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By editor on 9.2.2024

Flogging The Bishop

This week the leader of the Church of England, Dr Rowan Williams, has stirred up a cauldron of fury. He has provoked hell fire from the media, the government and members of the public for putting forward the view that the adoption of Sharia law, in Britain was “unavoidable”. Dr Rowan Williams did this in an interview with the BBC, where he told people on Radio 4’s World at One to “face up to the fact” that some citizens are being ostracized by our legal system.

For those unacquainted with Sharia law, it is a body of religious doctrine that governs the public and a few of the private aspects of life, for those living in a Muslim based legal system. The law stems from the Muslim holy book The Qur’an and the teachings of prophet Mohammed. However if taken in the context of criminal punishments Sharia law becomes misogynistic, atavistic and brutal, the law is responsible for hangings in Iran and death by stoning in Afghanistan.

However the Archbishop of Canterbury never intended his remarks to be in reference to criminal cases, the leaning of his luxuriantly worded discourse, moreover reflected a sentiment that he felt it wrong for society to alienate Muslims as a result of their religious beliefs.

Rowan Williams has been lambasted by British law makers, from every slant of the political spectrum, condemnation for his remarks which he has insisted are ‘well researched’, have reined down like Zeus’s lightening bolts. Khalid Mahmood, a Muslim politician from Birmingham, claimed Williams’ remarks were “very misguided”. The former home secretary, David Blunket, who was forced, twice, into resignation from parliament, was quick to denounce the Archbishop, pointing out that “it (Sharia law) would be catastrophic in terms of social cohesion”. However quite what abusing his position as home secretary to assist his ex-lover’s nanny did for social cohesion, has remained unquestioned.

Depressingly over 100,000 more idiots have phoned a Sun hot line designed to oust Dr Rowan from his post. The joke of a newspaper’s campaign is called ‘Bash the Bishop’, it is clear they want his head on a communion plate. However out of the thousands of people chasing around in righteous fervour, how many actually listened to the thought provoking and engaging interview?, and how many were present at Rowan Williams’ Courts of Justice lecture? Thank God the Islamaphobic best selling author Martin Amis has not yet commented.

Dr Rowan Williams obtained his undergraduate degree from Cambridge and his doctorate from Oxford, he is well respected as a poet and has an intimidating aura of intelligence surrounding him. Despite the controversial nature of his thoughts the Archbishop is perfectly entitled to his own beliefs on this country’s legal system, and though his opinions are questionable they are not the misquoted bullshit emanating from the red top press.

In many ways, I owe Rowan Williams a favour, without the church, my family wouldn’t have a house to live in and my mother wouldn’t have a parish to preach in. Though I myself am not personally religious, I believe an important faith based quality is lacking from the shocking treatment of the Archbishop, that quality is tolerance. This ‘Bash the Bishop’ nonsense is incredibly narrow minded and unfair, let’s hope the hypocrites don’t win.

Comments

  • I believe Dr. Williams comments were miscalculated, as well as being largely misquoted by the more conservative elements of the Anglican establlishment hostile to Williams’ personal and secular liberal attitudes.

    I believe he has been vilified by the conservative press and the conservative wing of the Anglican faith.

    These few remarks should not distort Dr. Williams progressive term as Archbishop of Canterbury. I strongly disagree with his pro-life stance on abortion, but that is of a theological debate, not a secular one.

    In short: he should not resign.

    By Luke on 11.2.2024

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  • I couldn’t agree with you more. The Archbishop’s remarks have been misunderstood, taken out of context, and the attacks on him are completely unfair. As I understand it he was not calling for Sharia punishment nor for the vast majority of Sharia law to be adopted, and the reaction by many inside the Church and outside it shows just how much further we have to go to overcome the fear and intolerance in this country of multiculturalism. Good on you Rowan for having the bravery to begin this debate!

    By Tom Christian on 10.2.2024

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