“I’m not religious – I’m Church of England.” It’s an old joke, because Anglicanism has been a weak faith for centuries. It didn’t need to be otherwise: like an island-dwelling bird or mammal, safe from competition and predators, it could abandon the vigor and aggression of its cousins on the mainland. So what happens when its territory gets invaded by a predator? It doesn’t put up much of a fight:
Civil and Religious Law in England: a religious perspective
The title of this series of lectures signals the existence of what is very widely felt to be a growing challenge in our society – that is, the presence of communities which, while no less “law-abiding” than the rest of the population, relate to something other than the British legal system alone. But, as I hope to suggest, the issues that arise around what level of public or legal recognition, if any, might be allowed to the legal provisions of a religious group, are not peculiar to Islam: we might recall that, while the law of the Church of England is the law of the land, its daily operation is in the hands of authorities to whom considerable independence is granted... This lecture will not attempt a detailed discussion of the nature of sharia, which would be far beyond my competence; my aim is only, as I have said, to tease out some of the broader issues around the rights of religious groups within a secular state, with a few thought about what might be entailed in crafting a just and constructive relationship between Islamic law and the statutory law of the United Kingdom...
there is a larger theoretical and practical issue about what it is to live under more than one jurisdiction, which takes us back to the question we began with – the role of sharia (or indeed Orthodox Jewish practice) in relation to the routine jurisdiction of the British courts. In general, when there is a robust affirmation that the law of the land should protect individuals on the grounds of their corporate religious identity and secure their freedom to fulfil religious duties, a number of queries are regularly raised. I want to look at three such difficulties briefly. They relate both to the question of whether there should be a higher level of attention to religious identity and communal rights in the practice of the law, and to the larger issue I mentioned of something like a delegation of certain legal functions to the religious courts of a community; and this latter question, it should be remembered, is relevant not only to Islamic law but also to areas of Orthodox Jewish practice...
The Jewish legal theorist Ayelet Shachar in a highly original and significant monograph on Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights... We need, according to Shachar, to “work to overcome the ultimatum of ‘either your culture or your rights’ ”... I shall return to some of the details of Shachar’s positive proposal... But if one approaches it along the lines sketched by Shachar... In such schemes, both jurisdictional stakeholders may need to examine the way they operate; a communal/religious nomos, to borrow Shachar’s vocabulary, has to think through the risks of alienating its people by inflexible or over-restrictive applications of traditional law, and a universalist Enlightenment system has to weigh the possible consequences of ghettoising and effectively disenfranchising a minority, at real cost to overall social cohesion and creativity. Hence “transformative accommodation”: both jurisdictional parties may be changed by their encounter over time, and we avoid the sterility of mutually exclusive monopolies...
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and
thou hearest the sound thereof...” (John 3:8)
If anyone is still awake, that was Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a speech on 7th February, 2008. Anglicans once wrote some of the clearest and most graceful prose in English; nowadays they write Guardianese, the gaseous, cliché-ridden dialect of Britain’s ruling liberal elite. One of its clichés is that any given “community” is “no less ‘law-abiding’ than the rest of the population.” Electoral fraud, money-laundering and tax avoidance may be rife among Muslims, they may be filling prisons in ever greater numbers for murder, rape and drug-dealing, but all that’s irrelevant to liberals like Rowan Williams. It’s messy reality, it’s dirty truth and we can’t have it contaminating our pure and virtuous ideology. Accordingly, Williams wants to give more license to a “community” that is already abusing the license it has. His speech said that certain “aspects” of sharia, or Muslim law, will “inevitably” be recognized here.
Five black and brown vibrants jailed in February 2008
for attempted suicide bombing in London in 2005
Lots of other liberals didn’t like that. What’s really upset them is that he’s forced them to confront something they’d rather ignore: the emptiness of their own policies. Muslims hold British laws and customs in contempt and have been trampling on both for decades. Sharia is already operating here for both civil and criminal cases. Like consanguineous marriage, honor killings and genital mutilation, it’s part of the vibrancy Muslims have brought with them from their Third World homelands. Williams’ solution is to surrender; his critics’ solution is to spout more platitudes and hope for the best. There are two ways Muslims in Britain can go: theirs or ours. If they continue to go their way, we’ll hate them; if they’re made to go our way, they’ll hate us. Bit of a dilemma, isn’t it? Still, who would have guessed that mass immigration by brown Muslims into a white Christian nation would cause problems? Apart from countless nasty right-wing racists back in the 1950s and ’60s, that is. Some of them were even in the Church of England, but they didn’t have much influence on the hierarchy. In the nineteenth century, the C of E sent missionaries overseas to convert Muslims to the true faith. In the twentieth century, the C of E welcomed Muslims into England and didn’t utter a word about conversion. It would have been so rude and inhospitable to suggest that somehow their faith is false. I mean, when you come down to it, what is truth? (John 18:38)
“Spot a vibrant? Not round ’ere!”
Anti-racist hypocrite Billy Bragg
Well, it’s obvious now that Muslims are abusing our hospitality, but Anglicans haven’t lost the patronizing ethnics-as-pets attitude so widespread among liberals. Close contact with vibrants can swiftly shake that attitude away, but how many liberals live amid vibrancy? Take Billy Bragg, the fiercely anti-racist “Bard of Barking.” He takes his nickname from a heavily enriched part of London, but he lives in a hideously white part of Dorset. His large mouth has been contradicted by his scurrying feet. Rowan Williams’ feet too have stayed firmly on Whitey’s side of the fence: first Cambridge, then Oxford, now Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official residence in London. It’s much easier to ignore the truth about Britain’s immigration disaster when you’re safe from the violence and crime ordinary whites have to endure from vibrants like Muslims and blacks. The truth will catch up with Billy and Willy in the end, but part of it has already been laid bare by another of Britain’s religious leaders:
Sacks: Multiculturalism threatens democracy
Multiculturalism promotes segregation, stifles free speech and threatens liberal democracy, Britain’s top Jewish official warned in extracts from his book The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society. Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi, defined multiculturalism as an attempt to affirm Britain’s diverse communities and make ethnic and religious minorities more appreciated and respected. But in his book he said the movement had run its course: “Multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation... Liberal democracy is in danger... The politics of freedom risks descending into the politics of fear.”
Sacks said Britain’s politics had been poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment. The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been “inexorably divisive. A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others.” (The Jerusalem Post, 20th October 2007)
“This isn’t Beth practice!”
Mild Mel lays it on the line
If a white Christian had said that, he might well have been up on a charge of “incitement to racial hatred” after a dawn raid from the thought police. Speaking the truth about a minority is not permitted to whites: only sycophantic praise will do, particularly for Jews. But the religious leader got away with it because he was himself Jewish. He was also right: where Jews have led, Muslims are following. In his speech about recognizing sharia, Rowan Williams drew heavily on the work of the Jewish multi-cultist Ayelet Shachar, who is busy spinning verbal webs for the goyim at the University of Toronto. He also referred to the Beth Din, or Jewish religious courts, operating in Britain. Jews are loudly denying that the two cases are parallel – “with the exception of one tiny wrinkle”, as neo-con Mild Mel Phillips put it – but the precedent is there all the same. One minority has been able to go its own way, so why can’t another minority?
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium behind cholera
(I propose “vibrio” as the standard scientific unit of vibrancy)
Mel can’t give her real answer, because it’s not good for Jews. Her real answer would be: “Jews are nice, Muslims are nasty!” Saying that would give her Jewish supremacism away and might make whites question the neo-con line on Muslims: invite ’em and smite ’em. Neo-cons welcome Muslim immigration into the West, while encouraging the West to attack Muslims in the Middle East. I’d prefer us neither to invite them nor to smite them, but I want what’s best for whites, not what’s best for Jews, and that’s heresy in the modern West. The worrying thing for Jews is that it may not stay heresy for much longer. They want to recruit whites to fight brown and black Muslims, but they also want to keep whites under a spell of racial guilt. Oy, it’s a tightrope to valk, already! And Jews have never been famous for their balance. The lie is crumbling: immigration is not a blessing, but a curse. Murder and rape; theft and fraud; loss of freedom and growth of surveillance: like cholera, vibrancy is a gift that goes on giving. We didn’t want it, but self-worshiping Jews and treacherous liberals forced it on us all the same. Here’s a prophecy from the days when Anglicans still spoke English: “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).