Say ‘no’ to Sharia law, say bishops: The Church of England Newspaper, June 24, 2011 p 8. June 29, 2011Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Islam.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Church leaders in the US and UK have called upon their governments to take a stand against Sharia law,
On June 9 the former Bishop of Rochester urged the government to support legislation outlawing the use of Sharia law in Britain when it conflicts with English law, while an American bishop has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voicing his dismay over NATO negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Bishop-elect Julian Dobbs of the Anglican Church in North America, and founder of the Church and Islam Project, told Mrs. Clinton that too many people were willing to ignore the implications of Sharia law and believe that Islam is a religion of peace.
“If negotiating peace with the Taliban is now part of US strategy in Afghanistan, I petition you to urgently consider the plight of Christians who are currently the target of inexcusable and indefensible atrocities perpetrated by the Taliban, all in accordance with the US sponsored constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” wrote Mr. Dobbs on June 18.
The ACNA leader denounced US complicity in the persecution of Christians by the Afghan Government of Hamid Karzai. “In an increasingly virulent campaign to win ‘hearts and minds’ by proving their loyalty to Islam,” the Karzai government was now targeting Christian converts.
While NATO forces “protected their capital and outlying provinces against revitalized Taliban incursions, the Karzai regime continued arresting native Afghan Christians; holding many of them behind bars today facing possible execution for ‘apostasy’,” Mr. Dobbs wrote, noting that “an outpouring of indignation and protest on this issue from those who enjoy religious liberty in the West is long overdue.”
On June 9, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali told the House of Lords Sharia law had no place in Britain, as it “inherently unequal in its treatment of men and women.”
Speaking in support of the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill introduced on June 7 by Baroness Cox, Bishop Nazir Ali said that while Britons enjoyed freedom of religion, “at the same time we have a very long tradition of people being equal under the law.”
The bishop noted that the ‘problem” with Sharia was that it was “is inherently unequal for certain kinds of people. Muslims and non-Muslims are treated unequally. Similarly, men and women are treated unequally.
‘So if Sharia is recognised in any way in terms of the public law in this country, that introduces a principle of contradiction in the body of the law which will cause problems for the country and for people who will suffer, particularly women,” he said.
Claims that allowing Sharia law to be enforced in family law cases would upend Western jurisprudence. “Bigamy is still a crime in this country. Would it then be only a crime for some, or for all? Equality before the law is immediately compromised,” the bishop said, adding that in divorce, child custody, and inheritance issues, secular law treats the parties equally while in Sharia law the “man’s position remains dominant.”
Bishop Nazir Ali told the House “we need to make sure that people have free access to the courts and equal protection from the state, as far as their fundamental rights are concerned.”