Christian culture cannot coexist with sharia law, says Archbishop
Sharia law cannot coexist with Christian culture and to accept Sharia is to “accept its values” declared the Archbishop of Canterbury this week.
Speaking ahead the publication of a new book, Welby said: “Accepting it [sharia law] in part implies accepting its values around the nature of the human person, attitudes to outsiders, the revelation of God, and a basis for life in law, rather than grace, the formative word of Christian culture.”
Welby also highlighted the inability of sharia law to coexist: “Sharia, which has a powerful and ancient cultural narrative of its own, deeply embedded in a system of faith … cannot become part of another narrative.”
His comments contrast with those of his predecessor, Rowan Williams, who came under fire for stating in an interview in 2008 that the incorporation of certain aspects of sharia law into UK law was “unavoidable”.
There are currently thought to be around 85 sharia tribunals in the UK operating on the pretext of laws designed to facilitate commercial arbitration. However, many also claim to have jurisdiction over areas of family law including cases of divorce, domestic violence and child custody. This is despite these areas being clearly the domain of the UK’s civil and criminal courts.
Calls for an official body to regulate sharia tribunals have been countered by UK Home Office, which released a statement that “Sharia law has no jurisdiction in the UK and we would not facilitate or endorse regulation, which could present councils as an alternative to UK laws.”