Friday, February 08, 2008

Archbishops and Sharia

Lots of fuss in the media at the moment, along with pictures of a rather bewildered Archbishop.

Have decided to take the following approach. I will...

  1. Come to no conclusions until I have read his actual text, rather than the media snippets. Rowan is never simplistic, and he also tends to think out loud, which people mistake for a fixed opinion.
  2. Avoid making assumptions about terms used by another faith. What does sharia really mean? By comparison, everyone thinks jihad means holy war, when it actually means struggle, which can be spiritual as well as physical. The definition is a debate, and it's worth remembering that 'holy war' has been carried out by Christians pretty appallingly at regular intervals over the last 2000 years.
  3. Bear in mind that there is already some privileging of faith in the public life of the UK. The Church of England has certain processes which are of legal standing, and faiths have exemptions from some legislation on religious grounds (eg we don't have to apply equal opps to employing Bishops)
Maybe when it all calms down we can then have a sensible look at the questions he raises.

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