Return to Home Page

A Fatal Misjudgement

Having met him many years ago as a student, we do not doubt that Archbishop Rowan Williams is a ‘nice’, ‘educated’ man. However, his latest suggestion that the rule of Muslim Sharia law is inevitable in parts of the United Kingdom was, to say the least, misguided.

Indeed, with just one speech, he has managed to unite most British Muslims, most British secularists and virtually all practising Christians. He has upset most Muslims here, because they wanted to integrate British society, not to stand out as some sort of fanatics and terrorists. He has upset most secularists, because they do not want to be ruled by religious belief. And finally he has upset most Christians, because we believe that our laws should be based on Christian strict justice with forgiving mercy, not on Muslim fanaticism.

Why this fatal misjudgement? We would suggest that it is because the Archbishop is an academic and an intellectual, an ivory-tower theorist who has relatively little grasp of practical reality.

It does seem really extraordinary that a Christian should wish to see Muslim law rule in parts of what is by tradition a Christian country. True, many would call today’s Britain a ‘post-Christian’ country. However, we Orthodox would sooner call it a ‘pre-Christian’ country, one which today has still to hear the Gospel in its Orthodox context. For however negative the signs around us, we have not yet given up hope that at least some in this country will withdraw from the hell of secularism where the last thousand years of apostasy have landed it, and turn back to the real Christ.

In a country of widespread loss of faith and open atheism, in a country of massive marital breakdown, in a country of 200,00 abortions (child-murders) a year, in a country where well over 80,000 people are in prison for crimes, in a country of government-promoted alcoholism, in a country whose government has in the last decade launched several unjust, offensive wars, invading other people’s countries, participating in the deaths of tens of thousands and forcing millions to flee from their homes, in a country of mass speculative greed which is on the brink of bankruptcy through a trillion pounds of debt, surely the Archbishop should have more important concerns than the theoretical defence of Islamic law?

Head of a Church which is on the brink of schism about its openly sinful and openly unrepentant and self-justifying clergy, surely this Archbishop should think again about his abilities to lead it and instead quietly retire to the full-time study of impractical theories? The real world is a different place and his latest compromise with advanced political correctness suggests to us, as to many Anglicans, that he bases his beliefs not on faith but on a theorising intellect, which is exposed more to political correctness and secular theories than to the Gospel of Christ and the Spirit of God. The education of the head is one thing, but the education of the heart is quite another. And it is the latter that is expected of an Archbishop and for that matter, of any Christian.

  to top of page