anglican, Rowan Williams

Go Williams

I fully support Rowan Williams in this row. I know I’m an American and not an Anglican/Episcopalian, but nevertheless, I support Williams and what he said (which by the way, can only be enacted when both parties want to use Sharia law). A leader should bring up this sort of idea and so to dismiss what he said by relegating it to an academic exercise is a way of dismissing Williams and what he said, rather than actually having the backbone to engage it. Its time to face reality, those immigrants actually live in the UK now and call it home. Don’t start sounding like the Minute Men.

As for what Williams said, it is actually not such a radical idea and is already in use in some places in UK law apparently. If there would be a discussion of the content of what the Archbishop said – rather than discussing the validity of him speaking, which by the way is perfectly fine for him to do, especially on something so important for the country he lives in – the Brits might have to face their own form of xenophobia (one that I am sure America has helped create by explicitly associating terrorism with Islam).

Lastly, this is academics hitting the ground. This is the “ivory tower” being practical and accessible. After all sorts of moaning and crying about academics and theologians sitting in their ivory tower and talking about things that don’t ever touch the ground, this actually touches the ground and people have the gall to tell him to go away? If his content is wrong, maybe he should back down (though I doubt it), or maybe he should be commended for raising an issue that ought to be raised, despite the xenophobia.

Keep it up Kim.

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3 thoughts on “Go Williams

  1. CH says:

    Picture the life of a young Urdu-speaking woman brought to Yorkshire from Pakistan to marry a man—quite possibly a close cousin—whom she has never met. He takes her dowry, beats her, and abuses the children he forces her to bear. She is not allowed to leave the house unless in the company of a male relative and unless she is submissively covered from head to toe. Suppose that she is able to contact one of the few support groups that now exist for the many women in Britain who share her plight. What she ought to be able to say is, “I need the police, and I need the law to be enforced.” But what she will often be told is, “Your problem is better handled within the community.” And those words, almost a death sentence, have now been endorsed and underwritten—and even advocated—by the country’s official spiritual authority.

    You might argue that I am describing an extreme case (though, alas, now not an uncommon one), but it is the principle of equality before the law that really counts. And just look at how casually this sheep-faced English cleric throws away the work of centuries of civilization:

    [A]n approach to law which simply said “there’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts”—I think that’s a bit of a danger.

    In the midst of this dismal verbiage and euphemism, the plain statement—“There’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said”—still stands out like a diamond in a dunghill. It stands out precisely because it is said simply, and because its essential grandeur is intelligible to everybody.

  2. What Rowan Williams was talking about would not legitimize such an experience. I would also say, that such a thing could easily happen with or without sharia law being recognized in the sense that Williams was talking about.

    I suggest you read through Mike Higton’s post here ( http://goringe.net/theology/?p=120 ) for a better understanding as to what Williams was talking about.

    I would also suggest reading Maggi Dawn’s post here ( http://maggidawn.typepad.com/maggidawn/2008/02/sharia-furore.html ).

    Both are worth the time to rightly understand what Williams is talking about.

  3. Firstly I’d like to thank d.w. for managing this excellent blog and daring to provide politically incorrect insight on the matter when every chav and latte sipper are arm in arm against Muslims, acting as the boots on the ground for secularists who want to keep all religious laws out of the public sphere, not just Islamic.

    A nice opinion piece has been published in Newsweek today on the matter that I recommend: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2008/02/the_archbishop_of_canterbury_w.html

    — Picture the life of a young Urdu-speaking woman brought to Yorkshire from Pakistan to marry a man—quite possibly a close cousin—whom she has never met. —

    Close cousins who have never met eachother :). Ok, well marrying cousins and forced marriages are not Islamic, they are cultural practices common with subcontinentals of all faiths. Of course you just ‘happened’ to choose a Pakistani for your example.

    — He takes her dowry, beats her, and abuses the children he forces her to bear. —

    Where to start? In Islam the man pays the woman (not her father, the woman) a dowry of whatever amount she demands. He doesn’t ‘take a dowry’. A woman isn’t ‘beaten’ according to Shariah. If she is being insolent she is first reminded of her duties as a wife. If she continues she must sleep in the bed alone for a night or more. If she doesn’t reform her behavior and is rebelling for no good reason against the husband there is no crime if he strikes her. Child abuse is not even remotely tolerated in Islam and how exactly does a man ‘force’ his wife to bear children? In Islam a husband and wife are supposed to both want children, neither can deprive the other of children.

    — she is submissively covered from head to toe —

    So it is submissive for a woman to dress modestly, ie like how the Virgin Mary is depicted — and it is exalting and dignified for a woman to dress in skimpy clothing, exposing her cleavage, legs, etc. If anything the latter is submissive to the desires of men to see her charms. I know a Muslim woman who was BEATEN by her husbands BECAUSE she wanted to wear hijab. That embarassed her husbands who was not practicing and he broke two of her ribs and her nose. Among practicing Muslim men spousal abuse is rare because there is abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.

    Now basically you sketched out a scenario of fantastic abuse committed by a Muslim. Nothing about it related to Sharia law at all. You could have made a similar post about a Jew who beats his wife and then rage against Jewish courts in London.

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