Rowan Williams on sharia law

Ben Myers (Faith and Theology) has written some helpful comments concerning the ongoing flap over Archbishop Rowan Williams’ recent lecture.

Myers writes, “It has been fascinating to observe all the hullabaloo over Rowan Williams’ recent lecture on sharia law. The press’s infallible capacity for misunderstanding is matched only by the politicians’ spectacular ignorance of jurisprudence – an ignorance best encapsulated in the Home Office minister’s response to Williams: “To ask us to fundamentally change the rule of law and to adopt Sharia law … is fundamentally wrong.” As though Williams had been calling for an overthrow of British law!”

Here is a short excerpt as well from Mike Higton, an expert on Rowan Williams:

“Williams’ point is not really (I think) about what happens once someone has apparently broken the law and has appeared before the courts…. His point is rather broader. When we as a state are sorting out how things should run – when we are framing laws, when we are deliberating about how laws should actually be put into effect, when we are thinking about exceptional and borderline cases, when we are designing systems and procedures – we should do so in a way that takes account of the plurality of voices and identities that our state includes. That’s what it means to be a liberal, pluralist state…. So, in Williams’ view, it is proper that the state recognise that I am a Christian, and that the Christian church is one of my defining communities – and it should recognize that this fact does make some public difference.” Read the rest of “Rowan Williams and Sharia: A Guide for the Perplexed.”

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