Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Please Rt Rev Rowan Williams, no Shari'a!

This week in London the Islamic scholar Abdullahi Ahmed Al-Na’im rebutted Archbishop Rowan Williams' strange remarks about the need for 'some aspects of Sharia law' to be included in British law. Al-Na’im advocates secularism in his book Islam and the Secular State. He spoke at Temple Church, saying there is no basis for Shari’a law in a secular society such as Great Britain’s. He considers the idea of an 'Islamic state' unviable and dangerous.

This US review gives a good idea of al-Na'im's ideas. He explains the historic anomaly which created the notion of 'Islamic states' and says that 'a secular country is not one that forbids any expression of religion in public life, but rather one that mandates the neutrality of the state in religious affairs. ... expressions of religious belief in politics are part of a free society, but that we must draw the line at expressions of religious preference by the state... Believers must justify their political arguments in terms of the common good, not just by invoking texts and creeds.'

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