Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his forthcoming book, Faith in the Public Square that is being prepared for publication ahead of his retirement, has this to say about Islam and Muslims according to the Guardian:
‘The archbishop says that the Labour party was wrong in 2006 to make incitement to religious hatred a criminal offence, arguing that anti-Muslim statements could show courage. “The creation under British law of a criminal offence of incitement to religious hatred has provoked bitter and sustained controversy. Disproportionate attention has been given to a hypersensitive minority.’
‘”Some anti-Muslim images or words (foolish and insulting as they may be) may well exhibit courage in a world where terrorist violence reaches across every national boundary.” He also calls for greater integration of Muslims living in Britain and insists they make their loyalty to “the nation state” rather than “the international Muslim community”. “To suggest that the Muslim owes an overriding loyalty to the International Muslim Community [the Umma] is extremely worrying,” he writes. “Muslims must make clear that their loyalty is straightforward modern political loyalty to the nation state.”‘
A friend of mine said:
Oh dear, reminds me of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics. Similar charges were hurled at them “you are more loyal to the Catholic Church than the Queen”….. Allahu Musta’aan.
a good analogy. Its why the Catholic Saint Sir Thomas Moore was executed by Henry VIII too. On the scaffold Moore said: I remain the Kings good servant but God’s first.
Categories: Responses to anti-Islamic Polemics
“Loyalty” is not a closed concept in Islam as it seems to be in this Christian man. In Islam, Loyalty begins with the family—proceeds into the community which builds the nation state, and from there broadens into the “brother/sisterhood of believers” (the Ummah) and finally reaches its apex—the “family” of humanity (or as the Quran calls it—the “Children of Adam”)
Thus, loyalty is a duty for all relationships from the micro to the macro—not reserved for just one thing—the nation-state alone.
beautifully put anon
I thought Williams wanted Sharia. He got it and now he’s complaining about it. Typical muddle-headed C of E.
he wanted some aspects of Sharia recognised by English law such as inheritance laws and the legal recognition of Muslim marriages – all very reasonable ideas and still not recognised in the UK – but already recognised for Jews.
Now he is talking like an establishment secularist. I’m with the great English patriot st Thomas Moore on this one…
Where do you stand madmanna?
The apparently offending quote regarding Islamic loyalty to the state is taken completely out of context by the Guardian. Williams is summing up someone else’s view which he disagrees with. Shoddy journalism sadly, but not shoddy thinking by Williams.
thanks for the link. I hope you are right of course. But you are incorrect to claim that ‘Williams is summing up someone else’s view which he disagrees with.’
That is conjecture. The article you link to in fact says:
“Williams has written so much on Islam in recent years, all along similar lines, that I find it impossible to believe that his new book will argue the proposition that “Muslims must make clear that their loyalty is straightforward modern political loyalty to the nation state.” ”
Imposible to believe – not misquoted out of context.
The apparently offending quote is taken from a 2004 lecture which, when read carefully (unlike the Guardian journalist responsible for the above article), is arguing for pretty much the opposite point of view. Link to the full text of lecture below.
I think he is starry eyed in thinking that Christians will be “protected” under Sharia law. Protected, maybe, but at what cost. It is like the protection of a suspended sentence which can be carried out at any time under the flimsiest pretence with no recourse to defend yourself as an equal citizen under the law.
I prefer laws where all religions are allowed to be as visible or vociferous as they choose to be.
Non-muslims in the modern world will not buy the notion that sharia is not biased to their disadvantage.
so you disagree with Thomas Moore when he said: I remain the Kings good servant but God’s first?
No, I agee in principle with his statement.
good, God comes first, in our private lives and politically. What Rowan is reported to have said (if its accurate) is unChristian and unIslamic.
Thomas Moore was able to be the servant of good King Henry AND God. Can a Muslim be a servant of the King, if he is not a Muslim, and God? Not according to Islam. On the other hand this is certainly the duty of a Christian, with the proviso that the King, or whoever is in power, does not demand of him to to be disobedient to God in any way.
Yes, muslims can be servants to their leaders and to God as well.
Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then there is no adherence and obedience.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2796 & Sunan Tirmizi)