Magazine article European Affairs

London: Some Sharia Law in Britain Is "Unavoidable," Says Anglican Church Head

Magazine article European Affairs

London: Some Sharia Law in Britain Is "Unavoidable," Says Anglican Church Head

Article excerpt

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, triggered controversy in Britain when he said that the country needed to accept Islamic Sharia law in some instances when Muslims wanted it in handling legal problems such as marital disputes. He told BBC Radio Four that the UK should "face up the fact that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system." In the circumstances, permitting people to resort to parts of Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion. Offering examples of what he meant, he said that Muslims should be able to choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

His comments have fueled the debate over "multiculturalism" as a social model in the UK. Leaders in the Church of England hierarchy rallied in support of Dr. Williams, the church head, after he publicly said he was sorry for the "distress and misunderstanding" over his remarks. …

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