February 9, 2008
Archbishop of Canterbury, Sharia Dustup
Rowan Williams argues that English law should make some space for Islamic law.
In a recent speech, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that England should make room for Sharia law to solve certain types of issues. Though it was a nuanced lecture, it was widely sensationalized in the British dailies on Friday, and still the lead story in The Times today. See the BBC link for the current state of the story, and lots of supplementary material, including the text of his lecture, "Islam and English Law," given at Lambeth Palace.
Coming from the head of the world's third largest church communion in the context of one of the world's most vibrant democracies, it is, to say the least, a provocative suggestion, even when nuanced. In an increasingly pluralistic world, where religion remains a vital component of most people's lives, it is something the U.S. will have to face into at some point.