These are just things I’ve been thinking. Other people have said them, and other people have said them better. They don’t form a coherent argument.
I find it quite amazing when doing a Google search for sharia inevitable to see how many news websites report Rowan Williams as saying this, with quote marks around ‘inevitable’, when he didn’t even use the word ‘inevitable’ in the famous interview at all.
Rowan did use the word ‘unavoidable’ in the interview, but:
- It was the interviewer who introduced the word, a point which the BBC transcript of the interview omitted to mention. Context is everything. Well, it isn’t everything, but in this case I think you need the context to understand the answer.
- The question itself is a misquotation. “you’re words are that the application of Sharia in certain circumstances if we want to achieve this cohesion and take seriously peoples’ religion seems unavoidable?” This isn’t what the text of the lecture says at all. The word ‘unavoidable’ in the lecture is talking about something else altogether.
Matt Wardman has gone into some depth about the BBC and their role in the whole affair.
As I mentioned yesterday I spent the day at General Synod. I did get an overwhelming sense that everyone there (bar the two members the papers managed to drag up at the weekend) was entirely supportive of the Archbishop. Here’s posts by two synod members which sum up pretty well what other people were saying:
Paul Roberts » As the dust settles at General Synod
It was good to meet Paul – we had a chat in the gallery and he pointed out some synod features – about which I’ll say more at some point.
Mark Russell’s reflections: Rowan Willams
Mark: I was the scruffy-haired looking guy that was sitting with the Ridley people you spoke to at lunchtime.