Sunday, February 10, 2008

A fair and balanced look at sharia

I think I may have been too hasty in criticising Rowan Williams’s thoughts on sharia yesterday.

The truth is more nuanced: on the one hand, sharia law has an image of Talibanesque/Saudi fundamentalism, with savage and brutal punishments, but on the other hand –



dirty dingus said...

Andre said...

I'm an avowed atheist and a secularist, but I do think that Rowan Williams was taken out of context.

Rowan Williams is an academic (and a highly respected one at that) - and if I'm not mistaken his lecture was delivered to an academic audience, so obviously it's an audience which is more open minded, and far more critical than your average Sun readed (the Sun was particularly vile regarding this episode).

Rowan Williams was merely suggesting that there might be instances where Sharia Law could operate alongside Civil Law - and in cases such as inheritance, commerce, and family. If I'm not mistaken the Code of Canon Law already works along side Civil Law in a number of Catholic countries...

Of course what Rowan Williams should have said was that if Sharia Law is applied to the full, he'd have his head chopped off for apostasy :)

I'm not agreeing with his proposal of course, I'm just trying to keep and open mind and trying to understand his point of view, which I think is quite interesting.

Tom Freeman said...

Hi Andre

Of course Williams is a bright fellow, and I'm sure a lot of the attacks on him have been based on the media reports rather than the speech itself (although I don't think he did himsefl any favours with his Radio 4 interview).

I've taken a slightly more in-depth look - via the link at the start of the post - if you're interested.

Andre said...

hehe i read your piece - and it was very good. I chose to comment here just in case my comment would totally not make any sense lol.