The Archbishop of Canterbury provoked a chorus of criticism yesterday by predicting that it was “unavoidable” that elements of Islamic sharia law would be introduced in Britain.
Christian and secular groups joined senior politicians to condemn Rowan Williams’ view that there was a place for a “constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law” over such issues as marriage.
Dr Williams told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One: “It seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system. We already have in this country a number of situations in which the internal law of religious communities is recognised by the law of the land as justifying conscientious objections in certain circumstances.”
He added: “There is a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law as we already do with aspects of other kinds of religious law.”