I have unashamedly blagged this from my friend Fleet who in turn quotes from a Telegraph blog. “One of them is a muppet. The other appears to be some sort of scary, orange-haired toy”
Oh no, here I go. It is really one of those taboo subjects and we mustn’t go offending anyone etc. etc. However that old nitwit Rowan Williams (the Archbishop of Canterbury) has really stirred something in me this week. In case you missed it he was talking about the inevitability of some aspects of Sharia (Islamic) law having superiority over English (and maybe Scots?) law. Apparently there are in fact Sharia Courts in England’s big cities already and although illegal they operate quite openly. They deal supposedly with family and marriage matters but really in the 21st century should there be any place for law based on a brutal unforgiving religion founded on medeival superstition? Should any religion have privelege under the law? I think not.
In our politically correct, tolerant society however the politicians and legislators tiptoe round these issues. I am reminded of a paragraph in Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion where he said that the white government in South Africa to survive should have maintained that apartheid had a basis in religious belief. Dawkins contends that opposition would have evaporated and he’s probably right.
Tolerant means putting up with something that you don’t agree with and I consider myself a supremely tolerant individual. I think anyone should be allowed to follow any religion they chose and believe in anything they want. They can believe that the stars are God’s daisy chain or that the world is carried on the back of a giant turtle (see previoius post about QI) so long as they behave in a way that doesn’t adversley affect the majority of law abiding citizens.
However when religion seeks to have special treatment in the eyes of the law because of some completely spurious belief or other then it really is time to get tough. Imagine as a believer in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I wished to practice Pastafarian law. Pastafarians don’t believe in Income Tax for example. They have strict teachings about praying to the Saint Canneloni at Midday so places of work should provide private areas where this can be done. Rubbish of course but why reject that and accept bizarre Islamic and Christian belief as a basis for law?
You may have gained the impression that I’m a non-believer and you’d be right. Of course I could be wrong but I don’t think so. In fact aren’t we all non believers? If you are a Christian or a Moslem, I only believe in one less God than you do. Click Here to see what I mean. There are thousands of Gods created by man since the beginning of time. Each one has inspired followers to behave in certain ways. Some to sacrifice, some to kill and mutilate, which brings me rather neatly back to Rowan Wiliams and Sharia law.
There have already been “honour” killings in the UK. How long before a hand is chopped off in the name of justice?
Perhaps kindly old vicarly nicey-nicey Rowan Williams should give that some thought.
(With a nod to Private Eye)
This week……..Vic Bonkers
“Blimey guv! what about that Archbishop of Canterbury! He’s two onion bhajis short of a set meal and make no mistake! I mean Sharia law in this country? who’s he kiddin? If he doesn’t like the law here he should sod off to bleedin’ Pakistan. They’d know what to do wiv guys like him in Saudi guv. Cut his bleedin’ ‘ead off they would! there’s a lot to be said for it guv! It’s the only language these people understand!”