OK

Muslim theocracies rule according to "sharia", the religious law interpreted by priests derived from the Koran and their traditions. Many Muslims prefer to live according to sharia than according to other legal systems in countries without sharia.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the UK's state religion, the Anglican Church, claims that UK Muslims should be able to ignore UK secular law in favor of sharia if they choose.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, as well as the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The present archbishop is Rowan Williams."

Today the BBC reports:


Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'

Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams says Muslims should have a choice in legal disputes

Dr Williams interview
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".

[...]

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

[...]

But Dr Williams said an 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".

"There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law."

Williams is a theocrat at the top of the UK's official church. He's cutting theocratic Muslims in on the deal he really wants: his own command of a separate law for the Christians whose worship he rules:

Dr Williams added: "What we don't want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people's religious consciences."

"We don't either want a situation where, because there's no way of legally monitoring what communities do... people do what they like in private in such a way that that becomes another way of intensifying oppression inside a community."

The issue of whether Catholic adoption agencies would be forced to accept gay parents under equality laws showed the potential for legal confusion, he said.

As a theocrat, Williams is not required to obey the laws of logic. He can instead choose to be ruled by faithy rules he makes up as he goes along (after all, he's the theocrat in charge):

"That principle that there is only one law for everybody is an important pillar of our social identity as a western democracy," he said.

"But I think it is a misunderstanding to suppose that means people don't have other affiliations, other loyalties which shape and dictate how they behave in society and that the law needs to take some account of that."

A logical person would say that therefore Williams says people breaking the (secular) law are perfectly acceptable in smashing "an important pillar of our social identity as a western democracy". But Williams would just say "that's what you believe".

Western democracies cut these theocrats out of their control of our governments centuries ago. But tolerating their "separate but equal" little fiefs, in which they don't pay taxes because they believe something unprovable, and get to blackmail voters by barking about the "peril to their soul" if they vote their conscience instead of the church dogma, has left them to fester away unharmed. But when they abuse their privilege because the perks have gone to their heads, they've got to be slapped down.

The current backlash against theocrats shouldn't end with just kicking their pet Republicans out of power. It should go all the way. This British theocrat is way out front because he's so well protected - the queen is his pope, he lives in a palace, and millions of people act like his is the word of god. But of course the US has our own brand of theocrats, the "Dominionists, whose insidious tentacles are often exposed here on Daily Kos. If the UK wants to lead, they can stop subsidizing this relic, and convert its buildings to museums and public buildings when the Church has to face the material reality of its declining fortunes. Maybe then they'll face the fact that the law applies to everyone. And following their lead, America can be inspired to tax the churches. Then they'll be free to demand sharia, Christian and otherwise, for anyone who subscribes to their club.

And we'll be free to expose and oppose them without facing their unfair advantages as a privileged superstitious minority.

Originally posted to DocGonzo on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 10:23 AM PST.

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