Rowan Williams’ Law

Prize for apparently barmiest idea of the day must go to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams for suggesting that some Sharia law in the UK is unavoidable and seeming fairly in favour of the idea (full pdf text of speech here). It seems that the media reaction describing amputation, flogging and stoning is not what Williams meant. He seems to have been talking about things like divorce and property law. However, this still seems completely contrary to the idea of all being equal under the law. Certainly the politicians have slapped the idea down pretty firmly. Whatever Dr. Williams thought he was trying to do and no matter how sensible he feels he is being; it still seems a pretty daft idea.

  • An Lochlannach

    Appalling. I wonder did he see the recent Channel Four documentary about the application of Sharia law to marital disputes in a British Muslim community. For Sharia law substitute ‘hatred of women’.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Any democrat should be completely and totally opposed to the application of Sharia Law, Canon Law, the Torah, or any other kind of law which is not debated and set in parliament. We live in a democracy, not a theocracy.

  • JonnieMoneyBags

    Sharia law , it’s not all bad….The idea that interest charged on funds is usury and against the Koran appeals to me.

  • aquifer

    Time to disestablish the Church of England, and give us our tythes back too.

  • Greenflag

    ‘We live in a democracy, not a theocracy.’

    Eh? and your First Minister is not a cleric 🙁

    ‘Any democrat should be completely and totally opposed to the application of Sharia Law, Canon Law, the Torah, or any other kind of law which is not debated and set in parliament.’

    We agree 🙂

    ‘We live in a democracy, not a theocracy.’

    Even though our First Minister is a minister of religion, and head (former ) of his own church:(

    ????

    ‘The idea that interest charged on funds is usury and against the Koran appeals to me.’

    This is one of the main reasons that one billion people in Islamic countries live in poverty and ignorance . I suppose you find that appealing also ?

  • ulsterfan

    He is expressing very dangerous views. These must be curbed.
    All men are answerable to the SAME law without exception and that law is passed by Parliament and not some Religion no matter how well intentioned it may be.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: Even though our First Minister is a minister of religion, and head (former ) of his own church
    But he’s there because he was elected by the voters. I don’t much like it either, but we aren’t in a Theocracy. And it would be ridiculous to ban every Priest, Pastor, Mullah, lay preacher and medium from politics. There would be enough of them to start their own civil rights movement.

  • lib2016

    This is a symtom of how out of touch many of us are with what actually goes on in society. The police can’t be everywhere and can’t police everything. Whether the middle class accept it or not the legal system is set up to suit their prejudices and their view of society, and particularly their view of the primacy of private property.

    In communities like the Short Strand in Belfast, Tallagh in Dublin, Poleglass or huge stretches of North London the same rules don’t apply, particularly in family situations where culture and custom may have deep roots which won’t disappear in one generation. From the local ‘hard man’ to the family patriarch these people aren’ going to give up power easily.

  • BonarLaw

    get rid of weird beard and replace him with the fabulous John Sentamu ASAP.

  • A. Nutter

    Crackers!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    lib,

    Three words: can of worms. There are places like the northern states of Nigeria where Sharia is an improvement on a Federal law that simply is not applied.

    I’m not going to comment on what the Archbishop said until I see the text of his lecture, but unless it is entirely subsidiary to state law it should be treated with extreme caution.

    In your last paragraph, I think you are confusing social conventions (‘rules’) with the basic rights (‘law’) that modern states are obliged to extend to their citizens. (You also seem to confuse Sharia with ‘gun law’.)

    Mess with those, and we are all on a very slippery slope.

  • Turgon, IIRC Anna Lo empathised with the points Williams raises. She did so on Sunday Sequence past with William Crawley. William raised the matter of polygamy and IIRC Anna was quite relaxed about polygamy being practised here by those who’s cultural norms were so inclined. Would you be prepared to change your faith in order to have a few more women about the bedroom?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sharia law , it’s not all bad….The idea that interest charged on funds is usury and against the Koran appeals to me.

    I always thought that part of the law was a bit daft.

    William raised the matter of polygamy and IIRC Anna was quite relaxed about polygamy being practised here by those who’s cultural norms were so inclined. Would you be prepared to change your faith in order to have a few more women about the bedroom?

    Strictly speaking, it’s none of the state’s business how many partners you have or what contractual arrangements you enter into with them. And given that more and more people just don’t bother with marriage anymore, it all seems a bit irrelevant.

  • BonarLaw

    Nevin

    I heard her on the Nolan show advocating law breaking where ones’ religious teachings were in conflict with the law. The logic of this lunacy goes well beyond bigamy via FGM to full-on medievalism.

  • yingyangsang

    ulsterfan:”All men are answerable to the SAME law without exception and that law is passed by Parliament and not some Religion no matter how well intentioned it may be.”
    all men?
    where is this global parliament?

  • Brian Crowe

    Actually the prize is for poor journalism, not a barmy idea from Canterbury. Williams very, very clearly said that the rule of law applies to all citizens – and that this secures human dignity. But, in a pluralist society, individuals will be free to opt in to the traditions and discipline of faith communities. He reiterated that faith communities cannot “claim finality” for their traditions if they offend human dignity.

    His lecture was a thoughtful reflection on pluralism. The headline writers, needless to say, decided to skip reading the lecture.

  • BonarLaw

    Brian Crowe

    if the Archbishop had stayed on script then your point would have been well made. However his remarks on Radio 4 went far beyond a thoughtful reflection on pluralism.

  • Brian, was Williams providing an opt-out clause for those community members who perhaps didn’t fancy being bound by the demands of their community leaders eg arranged marriages?

  • DC

    Totally agree Turgon when I read it, because it had taken prime spot on the BBC website, I thought such ideas fly in the face of democratic wishes of a governing body and its processes of law making.

    Even the mention of private life and expression of other wishes in that sphere was as much as an admission that only so much can be done in terms of adherence to law; but people will not want to see any such proposals coming to fruition, like those Rowan is babbling about, especially if they have to be enforced via state services and public money for them to become any way effective.

  • Brian Crowe

    Nevin – Williams explicitly addresses this issue. He states that cultural/religious traditions cannot have the “power to deny access to the rights granted to other citizens or to punish its members for claiming those rights”. He goes on to say that we must “not collude with unexamined systems that have oppressive effect or allow shared public liberties to be decisively taken away”.

  • Brian Crowe

    Bonar Law – accept your comments re: Radio 4. Williams has an unhappy history when it comes to media interviews. I didn’t hear this interview and accept your description.

  • Greenflag

    ‘But he’s there because he was elected by the voters.

    So was the Ayatollah Khomeini and the latest shower of mullahs

    ‘And it would be ridiculous to ban every Priest, Pastor, Mullah, from politics.’

    Not at all . I’m all in favour of freedom of religion and that means keeping ‘religion’ away from politics . Politics is dirty enough as it is ! I mean just look at the uproar this idiot Williams causes when he opens his mouth ?

    ‘All men are answerable to the SAME law without exception and that law is passed by Parliament and not some Religion no matter how well intentioned it may be.’

    Precisely . If immigrants need Sharia Law they need to become emigrants would be my view ! I can accept an intermediary role for imams /clerics /rabbis/priests/pastors /ministers within their own community but any ‘decisions’ or ‘agreements’ they make cannot be outside the common state law be it in the UK or Ireland etc .

    Williams should be fired by the Head of his Church !! Come on Queenie earn your pay !

  • RepublicanStones

    He is expressing very dangerous views. These must be curbed.
    All men are answerable to the SAME law without exception…..-ulsterfan

    wow, first sentence, very orwellian, so peoples views are to be curbed. I hope to Allah you never get a foothold in any government ulsterfan.

    second part applies fine, so long as your not a member of one of Kitson’s psuedo gangs/state agencies.

    it seems like the ‘daily mail’ mindset prevails in this instance and immediately people think Dr Williams advocates all aspects of Sharia. it is possible at the minute to hold sharia bank accounts, so is this creeping islamisation or just multiculturialism???? the latter methinks.

  • Turgon

    Brian Crowe,

    I deliberately included the a link to the whole text of Williams’s speech as it is not quite as odd as the headlines make out. I still have grave concerns, however, that he fails to fully understand the extent to which especially young women might be forced into a position of marrying within Sharia law and thereby being in a much poorer legal position both within the marriage and should a marriage fail.

    I still cannot fully understand what Willimas was at other than possibly as a tangential attempt to appeal for special allowances for Christians as well.

  • I am a leftie liberal till I die so don’t mistake me for a right wing knuckle dragging racist when I say this. This is not an islamic country and Sharia Law isn’t what I want to see. If you come to live in the Western world be it the UK, Ireland or any other part of Europe you have to accept the law as they have decided it should be or don’t bother coming to live there.

    Can you imagine a European moving to somewhere like Suddan and expecting European Law to be incorporated just for them, of wait I forgot about the Teddy Bear called Mohammad and those nice Islamic people with their “religion of peace” demanding a school teachers execution.

  • Brian Crowe

    Turgon – yes, noticed your link. The reference to headline writers did not include you!

    Williams’s aim was, I think, 2-fold. The relationship between state, society and religious pluralism has been something of a theme for him. What you term “special allowances for Christians”, he would see as a recognition of the liberties of faith communities in a pluralist society. Secondly, dialogue with Islam has been another long-running theme for him. (The Anglican Communion also issued a report today on inter-faith dialogue – probably not coincidental.)

  • Do Williams suggestions weaken the position of the individual vis-a-vis the group especially where the ideas of the group are diametrically opposed to the consensus of the (usually more remote) state? Many individuals could find themselves in mixed families in mixed communities and this would surely lead to a tussle for local power – and the survival of the fittest, a reinforcement of what may already obtain.

  • pauljames

    “special allowances for christians”
    Spot on Turgon , and a continuance of the appeasement of any faiths at any price. Moving beyond the previous joint strategy of blasphemy we now see a high risk play towards the inclusion of religious law to be fully recognised as an to alternative to secular legal precepts. What next, stone monuments of the ten commandments outside courthouses? Or a is this a step too far for this turbulent priest.

  • severus

    Bumblebore.

  • George

    Pauljames,
    “What next, stone monuments of the ten
    commandments outside courthouses?”

    Dublin’s Four Courts, home of the Ireland’s highest court, has some bloke called Moses holding the ten commandments on the top of it instead of the lady with the scales of justice they like in Britain.

  • pauljames

    Never knew that George, having admired the building for years I thought it was some neo classical representation of justice rather than a cold blooded murderer who was caught trying to hide the body of his victim. There you go !

  • Paul James and Turgon – you nailed it! Williams is adopting a true new Labour stance by floating an idea to test public waters before making it (via various ‘lords’ machinations) a serious point (like the Blair-backed anti-science faith-schools). Put simply Sharia law is an abomination. As are most of the ‘laws’ of the 3 main ‘sky fairy’ religions. All are in contravention of what we underdstand by justice, and all breach what we acknowledge of as rights!

  • George

    Paul James,
    If it’s any consolation, Moses is flanked by Justice and Mercy with Wisdom and Authority.

    The British crowns have been replaced by balls which somehow seems appropriate.

    On topic, I too agree with Turgon’s proposition that it could be a kite flying exercise by Williams to see if he can get special allowances for Christians. Which actually makes it worse.

  • BfB

    Let’s have a show of hands.
    In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. The article says of this punishment that it is the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.

    In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation). AI has recorded thirty—three amputations and nine cross—amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated.

  • Rory

    Pity then,BfB, that the USA and the UK did not invade Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq especially given that Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 bombers originated from Saudi Arabia and that Saddam was their sworn enemy.

  • Sharia law belongs in countries that live under Islamic administrations. The results are often hideous. I signed a petition this evening to try and prevent the judicial murder of two young gay men in Iran.

    Sharia is a religious-based law. In the UK I don’t see any Christian equivalent, so why should it be laid on to appease the Muslim community? Why is it always about them and their needs? They chose to emigrate to a Western European nation with a progressive secular culture. If they thought they were going to have a problem with that, there was always the option to defer – and hey it’s never too late.

    I’m pro-immigration and I like multi-culturalism but I’m also a staunch defender of secular rights and I don’t think we should accommodate religion of any sort when it tries to set the public agenda.

    Roman Catholics can be just as bad. Cormac O’Connor was recently twisting the arms of Catholic MP’s to try and get them to vote religion on the Embryology Bill. The Pope via his agents has been actively interfering in the Spanish election. So for me this isn’t simply a Muslim issue. Keep religion in the home, the Church and the local religious community where it belongs.

    Canada has a very liberal multicultural society – very decent and fair in most cases. There was an attempt not so long ago to introduce sharia courts in Ontario, and the main opposition came from Muslim women who were appalled that the types of laws they had come to Canada to escape from were going to be introduced in their new back yard. Premier Dalton McGuinty, to his credit, nixed the idea – but it received quite a lot of support from the pandering religious types and liberal accommodating sorts who hate to say no to anything … the types who apologize if you punch them out, along the lines of “sorry did I offend you in some way – I’m so terribly sorry”.

    On a positive note. I was thrilled to note that Irish people polled on the morning-after pill voted 93% in favor of over-the-counter availability. The Vatican of course was fit to be tied – yet another example of Sharia-like religious interference in the lives of people.

  • lib2016

    s_&_m,

    Agree completely and I also think that this is a going to be an ongoing problem. As the West stays comparatively rich our family numbers plunge and for the foreseeable future we will be attracting in mostly Muslim people who frequently bring their large families with them. They will take at least a generation, possibly longer to assimilate and they will certainly change and contribute to our culture, which might be a big help on the alcohol front.

    At the same time we have to accommodate the fact that the police will alway be a vastly out-numbered service uneasily trying to keep the peace within but not really part of local communities. They do have to work with whatever that local community accepts rather than what outsiders demand, which seems to be the Archbishop’s point.

  • Butterknife

    Common law brought us the tort of negligence under the principle of love thy neighbour and Parliment endorsed it so who knows what will happen it time. Although its unlikely that the law will create two strands that developed historically under the civil branch: equity, and common.
    For Sharia law to develop legislators must know that they have votes for it or else they would just be voted out of office. They don’t so it won’t happen. End of.

  • The Serpent
  • Jo

    At least this POV provokes people to think more about Islam, something that most of us haven’t done except in terms of embarrassing generalisation and cliche:

    “those nice Islamic people with their “religion of peace” demanding a school teachers execution.”

    – It seems to me that “many nice Christian people” have done many bad things and we don’t have to drive too far to see where they happened:

    Loughinisland,
    La Mon.

    Mote and beam, anyone?

  • Jo

    How embarrassing:

    “too” rather than “to”, of course. 🙂

  • Aren’t the laws set by the state based on our religious beliefs anyway? The basic “rights” we believe in and have enshrined in law don’t they just come from our beliefs as christians?
    The UK is christian country and IMO it’s laws are just a reflection of that. But christianity isn’t the only faith in the UK … if i’m not mistaken Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the UK and as that grows and the Islamic peoples get greater representation in the government wouldn’t they expect some of their beliefs to be reflected in the laws of their state.
    It’s all well and good saying if these people move here they should respect the local law yadda yadda but many of these Muslims are British and have every right to have their beliefs reflected in law as any other British citizen. It’s all well and good complaining about religious interference but as i said the laws of the state will reflect the beliefs of its people, IMO.

  • [i]- It seems to me that “many nice Christian people” have done many bad things and we don’t have to drive too far to see where they happened:

    Loughinisland,
    La Mon.

    Mote and beam, anyone?

    Posted by Jo on Feb 08, 2008 @ 09:22 AM[/i]

    And where the feck did I ever say I was a christian? Regulars on Slugger are well aware of views on any religion.

  • Jo

    “Aren’t the laws set by the state based on our religious beliefs anyway?”

    Yes, to some extent, but they also hold back some of our beliefs and deliberately do not enshrine them in law.

    For example, the majority of UK citizens, nominally Christian, would probably vote for a return to capital punishment in a poll on this issue. I believe polls over a long time have shown this consistently to be the case.

    There’s nearly always some issue in the public consciousness: (Birmingham bombs, Soham, 7/7) which sways the public to desiring revenge and retaliation for some unspeakably bad thing on their TVs and in their papers.

    This leads me to believe that outcries over the alleged “barbarism” of Sharia are somewhat hypocritical.

  • Prince Eoghan

    A lot of hyperbole on here. Many aspects of shariah law are already implemented here on a VOLUNTARY basis, especially over divorce and recently we have banks offering Islamic mortgages. Think of it as you will as a kind of arbitration that all parties agree to abide by the outcome. Indeed there is nothing to stop any and all private citizens involving themselves in such private agreements.

    Someone mentioned “can of worms” previously, probably alluding to the nastier side of Islamic law, or perhaps other religions all wanting/demanding a piece of the pie. However, we on these islands have always adopted certain aspects of cultures and languages through the ages, why should this be any different. Also I do not think for a second that the vast, vast majority of Muslims in the UK would wish full Islamic law imposed on them. I believe that we should cherry pick as we go.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Indeed there is nothing to stop any and all private citizens involving themselves in such private agreements.<< Missed important bit; As long as they don't run foul of domestic law that is!

  • Greenflag

    s & m ‘So for me this isn’t simply a Muslim issue. Keep religion in the home, the Church and the local religious community where it belongs.’

    Agreed . Maybe you could persuade your neighbours the USA ?

    Excellent post btw.

  • Greenflag

    It seems to me that “many nice Christian people” have done many bad things and we don’t have to drive too far to see where they happened:

    Loughinisland,
    La Mon.

    Mote and beam, anyone?

    The nice ‘christian’ people you mention above were loyalists or republicans and motivated by political as opposed to religious reasons. Mote and beam does not apply . The NI State despite it’s sectarian origins never sfaik imprisoned or condemned anybody to death for remarking that jesus christ was not the son of god or calling their teddy bear ‘jesus ‘!

    Sharia law is a 500 year backward step . In the Europe of the middle ages people could be flayed alive for stealing valuable church property.

    Those who advocate tolerance and cherry picking of sharia law presumably will have no problem in seeing those persons found guilty of vandalising church property having ‘medieval justice’ implemented ?

  • Can I throw Jim Allister’s related contribution into the Turgon mixer?

    There is a direct nexus of constitutional importance between citizenship and rights. In consequence all the citizens of a nation should enjoy the same basic rights, with due respect to the nuances of regional ethos and values.

    Perhaps Williams is trying indirectly to re-establish his Church’s role in the state and may have been emboldened by the actions of Cardinal Connell in the RoI.

  • “Sharia law is a 500 year backward step”

    That opinion is probably based on your (presumably) christian upbringing. Not everyone believes in the same things ya know. Their beliefs may be different but calling them backward is essentially saying that our beliefs are superior.

  • Jo

    GF: Well, I find it illuminating that there was, apparently, no sectarian or religious element to our conflict!

    The subtlety about Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries would, I think, be somewhat lost on a Muslim from central Africa in much the same way as the differences within Islam elude the typical man/woman on the Aughnacloy omnibus. 🙂

    The point about identifying the entirety of Islam with those who would kill for naming a teddy bear kind of proves my point about needing to know more about the world’s major religion in all its diversity (including the fact that the majority of those believing in Sharia law are opposed to violent Jihad.)
    As Michael Caine would say….

  • Yeah people who want Sharia law are nice people. People who want to mutilate criminals by removong their hands, murder homosexuals and rape victims, and treat women like slaves. Oh yeah, did I mention that if Mohammad was arround today he’d be considered a peadophile, IIRC he took Fatima as his wife when she was a child. I’m sorry I’ve yet to see any possitive in Islam and Sharia law.

  • Joe

    I’m intrigued that nobody’s mentioned the London Beth Din, which has operated as a religious ‘court’ for centuries.

  • George

    Nevin,
    Perhaps Williams is trying indirectly to re-establish his Church’s role in the state and may have been emboldened by the actions of Cardinal Connell in the RoI.

    I don’t get the comparison. Connell is not trying to re-establish the Church’s role in the State.

    He is running to the High Court to try and prevent discovery of documents on grounds of privilege.

    He is presenting a legal argument within the parameters of the laws of the State, in particular the Constitution, and it will be the judges of the High Court who will pass judgment on the matter, balancing the rights of Connell against the need to administer justice.

  • It amounts to much the same thing, George. If I understand it might he’s claiming that the Commission is operating beyond its remit ie that it’s intruding in the Archbishop’s domain. Martin has taken a different view but he wasn’t in charge at the time the documents were filed.

  • Peadar O’Donnell

    Britain recognized sharia for the muslim part of populations in most of its colonies up to independence – Kenya, Nigeria, India for example. This was part of Lord Lugard’s strategy of ‘indirect rule’ – basically getting the local chief to do the oppression and extract the hut taxes etc to pay the colonial government.
    Same was tarted up as respecting difference and contrasted with the French system of assmiliation – with its categories of immatriculé and non-immatriculé natives.

    ‘Indirect rule’ was often opposed by missionaries, because it hindered their progress and perpetuated (what they saw as oppressive and backward practices). They ran an ‘anti-circumcision’ campaign in Kenya in the 40s on these grounds – and were opposed by both headmen and colonial government.
    Williams is buying into a system of patriarchal social control – which has come back post 911, ie. get the tribal leaders, heads of ‘faith groups’ etc in to Dowining street to tell us what’s going on in the kids heads in Bradford etc. and hopefully to control them in the old oriental style. New Labour have encouraged this which makes todays fury, from Blunkett et al, a little inconsistent.

    BTW ‘sharia’ means ‘law’ – no need to call it ‘sharia law’.

  • Buggerhed

    I don’t want to get into the business of one little section of the community setting up its own courts and issuing its own punishments, because it disagrees with the mainstream

  • [i]I don’t want to get into the business of one little section of the community setting up its own courts and issuing its own punishments, because it disagrees with the mainstream

    Posted by Buggerhed on Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:36 PM
    [/i]

    Why does that sound familiar?

  • BfB

    Stunning dhimmi attitudes in an area that will be the first to fall into the caliphate. Nuetrality at it’s worst. At least all the soccer stadiums won’t go to waste. In a short time all this will be sorted out. Glad I’m in a country who has drawn a line in the sand. Wait to see what happens when the 7th century murderers light up an atomic device or two… Not to worry, you’ve got good old Russia in the area to help you out.
    Tsk, tsk.

  • Reader

    maca: Their beliefs may be different but calling them backward is essentially saying that our beliefs are superior.
    What a strange thing to say. If you don’t think your beliefs are superior, then change them at once.
    And calling someone’s beliefs ‘backward’ is simply saying that you belong to a culture that has discarded similar beliefs for something that you think is better. Which is what people do, of course.

  • kensei

    Nevin

    It amounts to much the same thing, George. If I understand it might he’s claiming that the Commission is operating beyond its remit ie that it’s intruding in the Archbishop’s domain. Martin has taken a different view but he wasn’t in charge at the time the documents were filed.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with “intruding in the Archbishop’s domain”. He is arguing based on solicitor-client confidentiality; I believe they also have that in Britain.

    It will be arbitrated by the courts and will fall under civil and not clerical power; any attempt to characterise it otherwise is either flat wrong, or flat dishonest. Which are you?

  • George

    Nevin,
    If I understand it might he’s claiming that the Commission is operating beyond its remit ie that it’s intruding in the Archbishop’s domain.

    My understanding is that he is claiming privilege on documents containing legal advice, which is generally permissible.

    He has goine to the High Court to ascertain whether this legal advice privilege was his or the Archdiocese’s.

    As he sought legal advice on behalf of the Archdiocese and is now seeking legal privilege on behalf of himself, I would be confident that he will fail.

    The Archdiocese has waived any rights to this legal privilege.

  • Joe
    And nobody has mentioned Kosher or Halal either.

  • pfhl

    Roman Catholics can be just as bad. Cormac O’Connor was recently twisting the arms of Catholic MP’s to try and get them to vote religion on the Embryology Bill. The Pope via his agents has been actively interfering in the Spanish election. So for me this isn’t simply a Muslim issue. Keep religion in the home, the Church and the local religious community where it belongs.

    Posted by shaughnessy_and_me on Feb 08, 2008 @ 06:46 AM

    Catholics believe that the embryo is a child. Whether you agree with this belief or not, they have every right to lobby for the protection of what they believe to be a human life. Should they keep quiet about all murder or just the murder of children? Is it just clergy you have a problem with having a voice in politics or any member of the church? If as a catholic, somebody is to believe life begins at conception, why should they accept murder as law? I refer to what catholics believe as i am not too sure of other religions believe in the matter of conception and when the human life begins.

  • DC

    Rowan exit first door on your left please.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Well, I find it illuminating that there was, apparently, no sectarian or religious element to our conflict! ‘

    The conflict in NI was not essentially about ‘religion’ per se . It was about ‘money, power, equality of opportunity , voting rights, and the constitutional position of NI within the UK. It just so happened that the political division neatly fell along sectarian lines. I can’t recall any RC priest or Protestant Minister calling for Jihad?

    ‘including the fact that the majority of those believing in Sharia law are opposed to violent Jihad.’

    Likewise I’m sure the vast majority of RC’s and Protestants both in NI and the Republic were opposed to the violence.

    Having a law or a code of laws is not the same as having justice . We know from history that laws are often passed to impose ‘injustice’ or legalise ‘theft’ . Take the post 1690 Penal Laws in Ireland . Who now or even then could state that they were ‘just’?

    This is an issue which all europeans are going to have to face sooner or later . Williams should resign . The vast majority of europeans in all western countries will not countenance any imposition of Sharia law across the continent. Sharia law belongs in the desert from whence it came !

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