The thing about Sharia law is that it’s already here in a civil sense. It gets through on the religious tolerance ticket – freedom of religion . . . the right to peacefully follow the religion of ones choice and all that. So we really shouldn’t let the media whip us up into a panic about the the Archbishop’s comments. He wasn’t suggesting that Sharia law be imposed on all of us. Context is needed once again. From my understanding, he was speaking just in terms of marital, family and financial issues – that where British law conflicts with Sharia law on these issues, Muslims should be given exception and British law should allow them the space to run their lives in abidance with their Sharia.
But as we know, British feelings on Islam are intense and we’re clearly not ready for any kind of legal endorsement of Sharia law. The very suggestion has had a divisive effect. The Archbishop argued that allowing Sharia law would help cohesion but already his comments have caused conflict and anger.
Some people have argued that giving Sharia law any kind of legal status would make it open to misuse and manipulation and although the Archbishop said only the unharmful aspects of sharia should be allowed for, at the risk of seeming unfair towards Musim integrity, I too would be concerned that loopholes might be found, resulting in civil human rights being ignored and the oppression of women increasing. That must be avoided at all costs. Muslims say that Sharia law elevates the status of women but if that is the case, it is clearly being misused.
Much of British law is archaic and stupid. Most of it was built on Christian beliefs and should probably be thrown on the scrapheap of religious doctrines to rot forever but until such a time comes that we can get religion out of the state altogether, we should all equally abide by the law as it stands.