What was meant to be an academic speech (transcript here), designed to encourage interfaith dialogue has had a remarkable spin into the Archbishop being a “sook” as Scots would say and failing to uphold the principles of the Church of England by approving Shariah to be implemented in Britain for Muslims. What fails to be mentioned is that some aspects of the law have been adjusted to accomodate Muslim citizens such as some finance laws, and taxes like the stamp duty is only payable once for those who take out halal mortgages although due to the nature of the transaction they would be liable to pay it twice.

In addition Orthodox Jews notably have their own Rabbi courts (Beth Din) in the UK which deal with their own matters, usually pertaining to diet, marriage and finance – the decisions of which are recognised should state intervention be lacking in adhering to their needs in accordance to their beliefs. Besides in any situation of there being problems in resolving issues within these court systems the state can intervene as the systems are complementary, they are not in opposition to one another. Which makes one wonder why introducing a similar system for Muslims, not non-Muslims and for those who want it and presumably will use it, is causing such a ruckus. There is of course enough recourse within British (English and Scottish law differ in some respect) law to be able to take legal avenues that accomodate beliefs but some feel in some area’s this is not always the case, which is where specialised arrangements are needed.

Theres been a lot of coverage on this. Below are some of the links

Re-inventing Shariah

Laws of the Land

Archbishop Should Resign – I left a comment for this article.

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