Advice for an Archbishop
|If you're going to start a debate on Sharia Law, you first have to tell people what it is. The vast majority of the population, being non-Muslim and having had neither the opportunity or inclination to learn about such things, don't really know. Many people are inclined to associate the phrase with corporal and capital punishment for acts which we don't consider vaguely criminal, as are carried out in the name of Sharia Law in other countries of the world.|
I asked a friend if he knew what Sharia Law was and he asked, "Isn't that the woman that Tony Blair is married to?"
If you use words like unavoidable and phrases such as the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty, you must expect that these words are going to more often repeated than any of your more measured comments. This way, the story stops being about your own ideas and starts being about another innocent party; if them Muslims are more loyal to their culture than they are to the state, why don't they just bugger off. Only yesterday, no Muslim put their hand up and said that. They may have done at some other point, but yesterday it was you, head honcho in the Church of England, who spoke on their behalf.
If you are going to make a proposal which would give special treatment to a community who are already subject to suspicion and prejudice, one has to consider whether your words, however well-meant, are likely to increase or decrease the tension that already exists.
In other news, we have snowdrops!