Rowan Williams and Sharia law 2
More commentary: Shuggy, Mick H, R Joseph Hoffman, Ophelia B 1 & 2, Pickled Politics. And more: Francis Sedgemore.Then again, to treat individuals solely on the basis of their presumed religious identity is reductive - and patronising - in the extreme. Is the identity of 'Muslim' - whether adopted voluntarily or attributed by others - to be privileged above other identities - including that of British citizen? And what about those who are identified as Muslims but wish to have nothing to do with a legal code which, for all its trumpeted benefits, is undoubtedly patriarchal and illiberal?As I argued here, many of Williams' recent statements reflect the same kind of envy/fascination with Islam to be found in the writings of other erstwhile liberal christians such as Madeleine Bunting, Karen Armstrong and William Dalrymple, in which a bend-over-backwards spirit of 'understanding' towards other religionists (however illiberal) overrides any lingering commitment to universal liberal principles. The Archbishop's statement today - like his argument last week for a new, improved law of blasphemy - is yet more evidence of his dangerous political naivety and further ammunition for those who wish to see religion's privileged role in the public square reduced.