In a startling interview yesterday, on BBC Radio 4, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said, "There is a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law as we already do with aspects of other kinds of religious law." Williams went on to state that the adoption of Islamic Sharia Law was inevitable in the United Kingdom and that it would help maintain social cohesion. "It seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of Sharia are already recognized in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system."
He compares the practice of Sharia Law with the convictions of those who opposed abortion or homosexual adoption. He also claims that Sharia Law needs to be better understood and that originally it was more enlightened in its attitude toward women than other legal systems.
His remarks were publicly criticized by Senior Tory MP Peter Luff, who said: "This is a very dangerous route we should not go down." Not surprisingly, Archbishop Williams was praised by Mohammed Shafiq, Director of Great Britain’s, Ramadhan Foundation.
Rowan Williams is often at the center of controversy. He is a serious and trained academic theologian but maintains quite liberal views on a number of points. I personally find reading him both scintillating and frustrating.I found myself feeling the same when I listened to this BBC broadcast last evening. Listen for yourself if you want to ponder his very controversial comments.