Friday, February 08, 2008

Papers round on the "troublesome priest

No prizes for the winner of the msot column inches this morning.It goes to the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams whose comments about sharia law have been roundly critised in most of the press.

For the Sun it's What a Burka its leader telling us

he’s a dangerous threat to our nation. He says the adoption in Britain of parts of Islamic Sharia law is “unavoidable”. If he believes that, he is unfit for his job.
Williams says the idea of “one law for all” is “a bit of a danger”.
With that one sentence he destroys his authority and credibility as leader of the Church of England.
He also gives heart to Muslim terrorists plotting our destruction.

The Mail says that "Archbishop should tend to his own flock"

This is a deeply troubling line for our most senior prelate to take. By arguing against a single law for everyone, he strikes at the heart of our constitution. By suggesting an accommodation with sharia law, he is shattering the strict division that is centuries old between the church and the courts.

For the Mirror

The Archbishop of Canterbury has stirred up a hornets' nest with his assertion that Britain must accept the introduction of some form of Islamic sharia law.
Britain is a liberal democracy, where people are relatively free to live their lives as they wish within commonly accepted constraints.
If members of any community voluntarily wish to live by personal rules that do not conflict with our fundamental values, they're welcome to do so.
But Dr Williams has created the impression that some groups should be able to opt out of British society.

But it is not just the tabloids that are taking the negative stance

The Telegraph calls it an inept intervention but adding that

The problem lies, rather, in the status of the messenger and the timing of his intervention. If there is a case for the creation of sharia courts, it would be better made by a joint group representing the three Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam

The Guardian says

Rowan Williams has a knack for creating problems where none yet exist. Prodding, however thoughtfully, the humming nest of multiculturalism and the law, the archbishop has provoked a predictable media storm that in the short term will only obscure his intention of promoting cultural cohesion - as well as confirming his critics' frustration with his apparent lack of common sense. His arguments, mildly and carefully expressed, will simultaneously stoke tabloid fears and infuriate those who believe that the state should be as far from religion as possible.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has made a grave mistake says the Times

Dr Williams did something yesterday that was far from sensible. He said that the adoption of parts of Sharia in Britain looked “unavoidable”, and called for “constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law”, over issues such as resolving marriage disputes. Muslims should not have to choose, he said, between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty”.

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