What Rowan Williams meant
Summarizing for a TV reporter the point of a long, technical address to the Royal Courts of Justice on the relationship between religious communities and the British judicial system, the archbishop of Canterbury said that some accommodation with shari‘a law “seems unavoidable, and indeed as a matter of fact certain provisions of shari‘a are already recognized in our society and under our law.” No sooner had the word unavoidable left Rowan Williams’s lips than the media and the cultural and religious right went into fits of hysteria. The head of the Church of England was calling for shari‘a law!


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