I’m on holiday, with pleasantly limited internet access, and no radio or television. So it was with some surprise, I tuned into the online BBC news tonight, to discover that the Archbish of C has not yet resigned.
The reaction has been predictable. Everybody thinks he has made a serious error. Well, almost everybody. The Islamist pressure group, the Muslim Council of Britain – which has a whopping 7% support among British muslims, thinks that a parallel system of sharia would be just peachy, as long as it is confined to inheritence and child custody: precisely the area where women and children are screwed by it.
This is a point made well by Sheikh Michael Mumisa, an Islamic scholar at Cambridge University who said:
‘I do understand that by sharia law here he means only the personal status laws of Islam such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and not its penal code.”
‘I disagree and believe that the introduction of such laws within the UK will undermine the rights of Muslim women. Moreover, some senior Muslim clerics in the UK want more than just the personal status laws and would prefer that the penal laws were introduced as well.’
The ABC has claimed that he has been misinterpreted: forgetting that his unchatracteristically clear words were heard, read and understood on his website, and on the BBC.
There is some debate as to what provoked this bout of silliness. Some have pointed out that the Bish has been going this way for some time, with proposals for ‘injury to religious feelings offences. Others have argued that the old fellow entertains a broader vision, of citizens hoarded into their separate confessional Bantustans, with Lambeth presiding over the largest one , funding itself through a re-introduced tithe. Yet others just think that he has gone insane. It is traditional for clergiment to seek out peril through risky sexual encounters in public lavatories, or with parishoners. That at least has the benefit of injuring only the dignity of their office.
The worst thing about his foolish and stupid words is that he has, in effect, abandoned the majority of muslims, whose families came to this country to live, not under sharia, but as equal citizens before the law. In doing so, he has given a boost to the Islamists, and delivered the most vulnerable into their hands.
The ABC is a bankrupt figure. His time is up.
Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once.
We’ve had a weekend of comment and drollery. I’ve caught some of it.
This is my favourite comment, from Mr Pollard at the Speccie:
The best comment I’ve heard on the Rowan Williams affair is from a chap who just called in to Radio Five.
After saying he was a proper Christian, unlike Rowan Williams, he said:
“Jesus Christ will be turning in his grave.
Got anything better to say?
Read anything worth reading on this?