Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Going With The Flow

Such was the uniformity of the condemnation from the political elite that I spent a little time wondering whether the Archbishop of Canterbury might have been onto something when he said that Sharia Law in the UK could be a good thing.

Our political masters are a complacent, unimaginative bunch, dedicated to the preservation of the system that keeps them in a job, and if they react in complete accord over something it's often because someone's trying to shake them up a bit, which isn't always a bad thing. And there's no doubt about it, Rowan Williams has definitely gone in for some shaking up.

Let's just step back from the hysteria for a moment. Williams isn't arguing for people having their hands cut off or for women being stoned for adultery. But he is saying that there should be scope for people to sign up - in a limited sense - to a judicial system that is more relevant to their cultural identity. Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

Well, I hate to say it, but I have to go with the herd on this one. It is, frankly, nonsense to try and defend a system in which members of one religion are treated differently in law from those of another or those who have no religion at all. I don't like the use of the words "state loyalty" but the laws of the land, passed by Parliament, have to have primacy over the interpretation placed on religious belief.

Dr Williams has a motive of his own her, I reckon; to carve the way for Christians to place their own interpretation on our laws in a way that suits them. It simply must not happen.

No comments: