Friday, February 08, 2008

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest ?

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury claims that it may be, in his words, unavoidable that some form of sharia law will be introduced in Britain. These alternative sharia courts would render enforceable law, and might apply to such subjects as marital law and the regulation of financial transactions. Since sharia law can impose the death penalty for adulterers, there are a good many Brits this morning who I am sure are hoping that that nothing of this sort happens in their lifetimes.

My friend and former employee, John H.H. Bennett, a strict anglophile, by upbringing, had the following suggestion for the handling of the Archbishop (and this quote is given, as all qoutes in this blog, without the permission of its author),

"This idiot needs to be excommunicated,drawn and quartered,his entrails burned, and his head buried beneath the crossroads."

Well, I suppose that sounds all right for starters.

Why the Archbishop of Canterbury, who works in the same building where Thomas Becket was murdered by knights (possibly) in the employ of Peter O'Toole, for Becket's suggestion that religious courts should have sole jurisdiction over religious matters in Britain, felt the need at this time to take up this crusade is anybody's guess. Benett's suggestion, that perhaps the Archbishop is an "idiot" ,would seem to be one of the better explanations.

Like Richard Nixon, I have been fearing all my life over an apocolyptic battle between the east and the west. To his credit, Archbishop Williams is looking for ways to avoid that battle. But in the true spirit of British history, he is suggesting that we do so by appeasement. It would be the height of folly to allow sharia law into the common law countries. Once that camel's nose is under the tent, the game is lost. This is not to suggest that muslims ride camels, they do not, many of then drive taxis. But many of them, like my mother's oyncologist, are brilliant, sensitive and loving people who are helping the world advance to a better place. This planet really can't afford to lose even one of them, just as it can not afford to lose any of the rest of us who might come up with some solutions for the state we are in. But that does not mean that we need to change the entire philosophy and culture of a country to make any specific religion feel more comfortable with our laws. Many sharia laws are wrong, outmoded and outragous. The one that would allow me to be stoned to death for typing that last sentence in Saudi Arabia comes to mind.

Will we never solve this problem ? Are we doomed to spend the rest of our existence worrying over the tension caused by the accidental trodding on the toe of Abdullah Bulbul Amir by Ivan Slavinsky Skivar ? Remember the prophetic outcome of that great battle ?

"They fought all the night 'neath the pale yellow moon,
the din it was heard from afar.
And multitudes came,so great was the fame,
of Abdul and Ivan Skivar.

As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he had shouted 'Huzzah'
He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skivar "


Perhaps like Abdul and Ivan, we are all meant to perish, perish over a stepped on toe. But the day of the apocolypse will not be dealyed, only hastened, by the changing of secular democracies to theocracies.No one in England, no one in the United Sates, no one in Canada, Australia or New Zealand, no matter which religion they espouse, should have to be judged by a relgious figure, who is allowed to exercise the power of the state. That is the kind of thing that can get a fellow killed at the altar.If you don't believe me, ask Richard Burton.

"God have mercy upon us,
Christ have mercy upon us,
God have mercy upon us.
Gentle Thomas, pray for us." T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral"

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