In 2008, while arguing for the need to formally introduce Sharia law into the law of the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed Sharia law was “inevitable” in the UK . He denied it was an “alien” system and called for “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law. He did this in a calculated and provocative manner, while denying a place for its more “extreme punishments.”
It is unlikely that many members of the Muslim community would be satisfied with an Anglican primate determining the limitations of the Quran and Sharia law.
This argument was rapidly followed by the Lord Chief Justice: Lord Phillips helpfully said there was a place for Sharia law, particularly in mediation. He lamented the “widespread misunderstanding” of Sharia law. The newly established Muslim Arbitration Tribunals immediately put a picture of the Lord Chief Justice on their website in appreciation of his endorsement.
In the United Kingdom, the many thousands of Sharia courts can quietly go about their business of implementing “justice” in a form totally “alien” to the Judeo-Christian tradition, denying human rights to many of our citizens — particularly women.
The “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law reached a logical conclusion with the declaration this year of Sharia law controlled zones in a number of areas geographically spread over the country, where the Islamist militants enforce their will. Their posters declare: “No music or concerts, no porn or prostitution, no drugs or smoking, no gambling, no alcohol.” A reign of terror has begun, with threats of implicit violence against anyone who “insults” Islam, changes religion, or fails to dress appropriately. I have already been contacted about assisting two individuals subject to Islamist threats.
The police stand passively by, adhering to their diversity training.
If the Labour Party had won the last general election in 2010, I believe they would have introduced Sharia law into the United Kingdom. Things have changed for the better since David Cameron became prime minister — he has criticized “state multiculturalism” as causative of terrorism and radicalism. An inquiry of the Ministry of Justice into the operation of Sharia courts had to be stopped as Muslim leaders refused to cooperate with the government; they wanted to continue to execute Sharia law in secrecy. However, this has only heightened concerns. A Conservative peer has sought to introduce legislation delimiting the operation of Sharia courts as discriminatory against women. The home secretary has at last refused entry visas to “hate preachers” like Zakir Naik. (The last Labour government welcomed Hezbollah terrorists to lecture the police on “political Islam.”)
When I was a boy growing up in London, as Roger Kimball has written, terms like “Sharia” and “jihad” were anthropological phrases analogous to witch burning, using leeches to draw blood, and cannibalism. It would have been beyond my comprehension that our political elite would seek to introduce this medieval system into one of the most advanced societies in the world.
Sharia law is the antithesis of law as representative of rational human endeavor to alleviate the human condition.
In this short piece, it is not possible to fully illuminate the “establishment” of Islam in the United Kingdom (as described by the First Amendment). I can only give examples.
An interesting case of mine involved a church in a part of the country declared a “Sharia law controlled zone.” The church had existed for about 150 years, but it was served with a noise pollution notice for the singing of hymns on a Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. As the notice was served, the council officer said: “This is a Muslim area.” (Naturally, this statement was denied in court.)
However, it was the court experience which was most disturbing; the local court was in an area with a high Muslim population, and the majority of the judges hearing the case were Muslim. The court closed the church. I thought the only image missing from the scene was about 200 mullahs demonstrating outside the court for the death of the infidels.
The case was appealed, and moved to a district that was predominantly English (where the appeal court was situated). The court opened the church.
This case was similar to a case where Muslim police officers prevented two street preachers, Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham, from evangelizing in Birmingham. The Muslim police office called it a “hate crime” to seek to convert Muslim youths. A Muslim police office failed to uphold British values: social cohesion requires that the appointment of Muslim judges and police officers is in accordance with British standards and values.
In 2005, the BBC broadcast Jerry Springer — The Opera. It conformed to the usual high standards of the BBC: Jesus in a nappy; Jesus a “little bit gay”; the fondling of Jesus’s genitals. Fifty-five thousand complaints were received, and ignored — the BBC governors declared the program “artistically exceptional.” There was legal action against the BBC, but they bravely defended themselves — using taxpayers’ money — by asserting their willingness to challenge sensitivities. No apology was given.
How brave. Yet their courage seems to fail with Islam, and there has yet to be such an “artistically exceptional” program on Mohammed (nor will there ever be).