Pointless, beard-wearing knock-off of a Druid
Posted by That Other Mike on 08/02/2008
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, recently called the introduction of sharia courts unavoidable.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, here’s a short paragraph:
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable”.
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4’s World at One that the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
First point – we have a legal system already. And while I don’t wish to dent the noble goals of multiculturalism and acceptance of minorities, emigrating to a country whose legal system you despise is just stupid. They don’t relate to the legal system? Fine. Let them stay elsewhere. We should not be altering and changing a system which more or less works simply on the back of extremist immigrants not liking it.
Adopting sharia would maintain social cohesion? My gods, this is what happens when you let the hippies get in charge of anything. Two conflicting legal and ethical systems do not make for social cohesion, and neither does the idea of a minority not only failing to adapt to its adoptive country to some degree but attempting to mould it after itself.
Finally, Sharia law is brutal, cruel and mediaeval, especially in its attitudes towards women. It’s like the Old Testament, without the gloss of embarrassed modern moderate Christians to shuffle their feet and whistle: it is not conducive to democracy and the modern secular state with its guaranteed rights independent of party or religious affiliation.
Sharia law would be a disaster for any country of the West – adopting it to any degree would be to chisel away at the foundations of our liberal, secular democracies, and I rather like living in a culture where personal autonomy and choice are seen as things to be valued no matter who I pray to or don’t, where my right to vote is not dependent upon adherence to a certain religion, where I can get married or get a divorce without religious interference, where I won’t be shunned because I reflexively view my wife as an equal, and where I am in no danger of being stoned to death for being an apostate.
By all means, let Muslims live in the West – it’s a good place to live, and we welcome newcomers. But if you come to live here, no matter how accepting we are, no matter how much we decline to interfere in your lives, you have to bend yourselves at least a little to that standard as well. Otherwise, it all stops working.