We get emails! Some people still entertain the idea that it is possible for sharia law and its adherents to operate cosily alongside a code such as the English Common Law. I have already described why I think sharia and a liberal legal tradition on matters of marriage and treatment of women are like oil and water; it is also remiss for the Archbishop not to spell out what criteria he would use to judge which bits of sharia are okay in England and which are not; he is far too vague on the latter point. Rod Liddle, writing in this week’s Spectator, points out that is rather presumptious for the Archbishop to lecture Muslims about which bits of sharia are legit and which bits are not in England. As Liddle says, it might be a more productive use of this man’s time to focus on preaching the message of the Gospels, although I accept that talking about the love of Jesus, sin, redemption and all that boring stuff is so, well, Bible-Belt, dahling.
Anyhow, a gentleman wrote the following email to Samizdata HQ:
Johnathan Pearce criticized Archbishop views on sharia law but didn’t
seem to actually have read Dr. William’s speech, which seems to me
eminently reasonable from a libertarian point of view.
Alas for this correspondent, I have read the speech all the way through – all the way through its tortured logic, non-sequiturs, question-begging expressions and the rest. A second reading or a third does not improve one’s experience. Dr Williams’ feeble grasp of the subject means a second or third read is like the experience of drinking another glass of an indifferent red wine; it only tastes good if you are already slightly pissed.
Matthew Parris, a libertarian to the core, has also read the speech. In his civilised, gentle way, Parris states what is painfully obvious: the Archbishop of Canterbury is not a particularly intelligent man. Having a white beard does not make one smart or benign.