Author Topic: Christianity v sharia by the arch bishop !  (Read 102 times)


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Christianity v sharia by the arch bishop !
« on: March 02, 2018, 11:05:18 AM »



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Melanie Phillips
February 27 2018

By challenging the spread of Islamic law, the archbishop is finally fighting for Christian values

The mouse has roared. In his new book Reimagining Britain, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said that Sharia should never become part of the British legal system because it is incompatible with our laws.

High levels of Muslim immigration, he says, have led many to challenge majority values, especially in family life. He wants Britain instead to uphold the values founded upon its own principles and Christian inheritance.

The Church of England upholding Christian values as preferable to those of another faith? There will surely be amazement in Heaven. It?s certainly a reversal of the position taken by the archbishop?s predecessor, Lord Williams, who said in 2008 that he backed the introduction of Sharia in Britain and argued that adopting some of its aspects seemed ?unavoidable?.

Those few churchmen who have taken a robust stand against incorporating Islamic precepts into Britain have been denounced as sowing unnecessary division. In 2004 Lord Williams?s predecessor, Lord Carey, said that although the vast majority of Muslims were ?honourable and good people who hate violence?, Islam stood in opposition to ?practically every other world religion?. For this he came under fire from within his own church for ?rattling the cage?.

Although Sharia has no legal authority in Britain, there are many Muslim enclaves where its writ runs. This is despite its anti-western principles, such as the death penalty for apostasy, punishments for homosexuality and the profound disadvantages and threats to personal safety meted out to British Muslim women. This all led the European Court of Human Rights to state in 2003 that ?Sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy?.

Yet Britain has allowed it nevertheless to develop as a parallel form of jurisdiction, in practice if not in law. This is due to a combination of fear and confusion over how to deal with minorities. Multiculturalism, which has held sway for decades, affords equal status to all cultures. Yet respect for human life, equality for women, freedom of speech and worship and so on, are not universal but western values rooted in the Bible.

Moreover, the basic principle of a liberal democracy is one law for all. Minorities are welcome to establish communities of faith and culture but these must not conflict with the country?s fundamental laws and values. In order to safeguard a nation?s cultural identity, there must be a line between, on the one hand, upholding its basic precepts and, on the other, tolerance of minority faiths and cultures. Preventing the imposition of Sharia is where that line needs to be drawn over Islam.

The archbishop identifies other signs of cultural decay arising from the loss of coherent national identity: ?a rootless and self-protective society without generosity, arising from a lack of confidence.? His analysis of this, however, lacks the clarity of his views about Sharia. Showing too much woolly thinking over issues such as climate change or family breakdown, his argument fails to hone in on the Christian basis of the culture.

Across Europe Christianity is in retreat, creating a vacuum that is being filled by Islamic cultural colonialism. For religion is essential for cultural coherence. Our increasingly post-Christian society makes the widespread assumption that secularism promotes freedom and equality while Christianity merely divides us. In fact, freedom and equality are Biblical precepts that bind us together. It is secularism that has divided us into groups jostling for power over each other and which has shattered our sense of a shared national project.

This process has been assisted by the pusillanimity of the Church of England itself. Over the past half century, having internalised the view that traditional belief was no longer possible in a secular age, the church sought instead to help remake society at home and abroad. Influenced by the anti-capitalist stance of the World Council of Churches, it swallowed the view that Christian values were no better, and possibly worse, than those of other cultures.

In this demoralised state, it maintained a shameful silence over the savage Muslim persecution of Christians across the developing world, while seeking vainly to appease such fanaticism by minimising or denying the differences between Christianity and Islam.

​In 2002, the Archbishop of Canterbury convened a Christian-Muslim seminar called Building Bridges. Papers presented by some Muslim and Christian scholars suggested equivalence, even unity, between Islam and Christianity. Bishop Kenneth Cragg stated: ?Magnificat and Allahu akbar are the sure doxologies with which our two faiths begin?, while the former Birmingham lecturer in Islamic studies David Kerr explained radical Islam ?as a form of liberation theology?.

In 2007, Dr Margaret Brearley, a scholar of inter-faith relations and former adviser to the archbishop, wrote: ?The rapprochement of Anglicanism and Islam has encouraged a process in which any critique of Islamic nationalism or Islamism is either extremely muted or completely absent.?

Archbishop Welby has spoken with some courage about resisting Sharia. He also wants Britain to ?reimagine? its identity on the basis of Christianity. Yet he undermines this by suggesting that different faiths must play an equivalent role. The mouse may have roared ? but it remains, alas, a mouse.



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