THINKING ANGLICANS

What did the Archbishop actually say?

Lambeth Palace has issued a statement headlined What did the Archbishop actually say?

Friday 08 February 2008

There has been a strong reaction in the media and elsewhere to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks of yesterday on civil and religious law…

…The Archbishop made no proposals for sharia in either the lecture or the interview, and certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law.

Instead, in the interview, rather than proposing a parallel system of law, he observed that “as a matter of fact certain provisions of sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law” . When the question was put to him that: “the application of sharia in certain circumstances – if we want to achieve this cohesion and take seriously peoples’ religion – seems unavoidable?”, he indicated his assent.

Read it all.

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sheilaCheryl Va. CloughMark BennetEmilyHRen Aguila Recent comment authors
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Dudley Price
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Dudley Price

Sir, I am outraged at the recent speech by Archbishop Williams regarding the possibility of introducing aspect of Islamic law into my country. We are CHRISTIAN peoples and we wish to be governed by by laws evolved in the Christian environment. This is NOT the first time that Williams has spoken out completely at odds with Christian doctrine. The man is supposed to be intellectual, but he shows very little common sense. The fact that he is ‘did not anticipate the strength of feeling’ on the matter begs the question of whether he up to the job. A man in… Read more »

John Omani
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John Omani

‘What did the Archbishop actually say’ is a question that could be applied to many of Rowan’s lectures, since his opaque language often seems to give rise to a number of interpretations. This isn’t exactly a defence, since his leadership role entails some responsibility to speak clearly and carefully on sensitive matters, and Rowan often seems to give much more attention to the latter than the former. That said, the statement from Lambeth Palace argues that it is very clear what he did ‘not’ say, so let’s examine this: (i)The Archbishop made no proposals for sharia in either the lecture… Read more »

Justin (3MinuteTheologian)
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Well, there you go. I must work for Lambeth Palace Press office. Even they are saying **read the speech**!

(BTW. Busy day, Simon. Thanks for all the hours you put in slaving over hot pixels.)

Weiwen
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what’s this – is Rowan imposing Shariah law on the UK?

😉

the Times Online article stated that Orthodox Jewish communities are allowed to adjudicate certain affairs under their own religious laws. if so, Muslims should be given the same courtesy. this is for select civil affairs, not criminal. as long as Muslims (and Orthodox Jews) can choose which system to obey, it’s fine.

also, as long as we can be sure that people who commit crimes against humanity go to prison, it’s also fine. oh wait, they mostly get off scot-free these days…

Oriscus
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Oriscus

Curiously enough, this is what I *thought he said.

As such, it is of a piece with his willingness to countenance special provision under the law for the, um, sensitivities of such groups as reactionary RC’s and the Conservative realignment camp within the CofE and the AC with regard to discrimination law.

So what were we on about?

Andrew
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Andrew

As predicted, a nice clarification from Lambeth Palace. I am beginning to believe that +++Rowan is too smart for his job, overqualified. The position requires someone more tuned in to “sound bites” and less subtle, less nuanced, less complex.

Lister Tonge
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Lister Tonge

This may all very well be but what on earth was the Lambeth Press Office doing letting Rowan walk into this one like a blind man? Did no-one sit down for five minutes with him and say, ‘What is the likely outcome of this’? What he said may need to be said but, surely this was not the time to do it! I have heard people today, passers by and supporters of the archbishop, talking about him as never before. Judging by what they were saying, it is not clear that the ill-judged timing and/or content of this lecture has… Read more »

Dale Rye
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Dale Rye

“What else could he mean by individuals choosing to decide the juristiction under which various matters could be heard?” He could mean that parties to a private civil dispute should be permitted to choose by voluntary agreement the forum that decides their dispute and the rules that the forum will apply. Private companies do that every day in arbitration agreements with their customers, suppliers, and employees. Orthodox Jews do it nearly every day in referrals to the Beit Din (which are treated by English law as binding arbitration agreements). Nonreligious litigants do it almost hourly in various forms of alternative… Read more »

Ren Aguila
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Ren Aguila

May I point out that the Philippines is also a Christian country, and, by law, we allow Muslims to apply Shariah to settling marriage and property disputes. By law, mind you.

That is what I understand Williams meant.

We allow Muslims to freely practice their faith in our countries, but Williams should have been clearer, at the risk of being banned from Al-Azhar, that Christians ought to freely practice their religion in Muslim countries too.

And to make it clearer that Muslims would be more truly human if they followed Jesus Christ as their Savior.

EmilyH
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EmilyH

One wonders who the highly placed anonymous churchman calling for his resignation is? The article in the Times Online was written by Ruth Gledhill and Joanna Sugden. Gledhill is certainly no friend of liberals. Sugden is the daughter of Canon Sugden, principle organizer of GAFCON and head of Anglican Mainstream. Sugden has been intensely critical of +Williams. Joanna joined the Times of London last year having served as an intern for the right wing Washington Times. The headline and tone of the artcle reflect a singular perspective. The speech and interview were highly nuanced, as +Williams, an academic, is inclined… Read more »

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

Well, Dale, Simon and Garfunkel have the key insight here, from ‘The Boxer’ “… a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest …” Some commentators have been pointing out the automatic prejudice inherent in using the word “sharia” – that is itself dangerous and divisive, because it makes it very difficult for us to speak or write about the subject. Sometimes one can get around that kind of problem. On other occasions someone simply has to have the courage to face it, because after the gut reaction and loud shouting has died down, the intelligent conversation… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
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I can’t work out if this is sophistication or plain stupidity. On one hand, it has managed to avert the media’s attention from the compensation payout – a stroke of pure genius. On the other hand, it has opened up a can of worms that makes the debate about homosexuality seem tame. At the end of the day, there are elements of Sharia law where I think Gabriel and Mohammad and their successors went too far (remember Mohammad was never divinely confirmed in battle, much to his chagrin). Yes. There were problems of aggression in early Islam. But Gabriel was… Read more »

sheila
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sheila

‘power-holders are forced to compete for the loyalty of their shared constituents’

This still troubles me. The assumption behind the statement is that the constituent is a free agent. The reality behind the lives of some Muslim women is that they aren’t, that they may be subject to abuse, loss of home, and loss of family if they were to use secular courts.