Damian Thompson – Rowan is Finished
What will the Archbishop of Canterbury’s fatuous remarks about Sharia do to his authority as head of the Anglican Communion? Pretty well finish it off, I should think.
For years, African Anglicans have been threatening to blow the "Communion" to smithereens unless Rowan Williams follows their line on homosexuality. He has duly fallen in with their wishes, despite his long (and, in retrospect, phoney) record as a defender of gay rights. But now that Williams has said nice things about Sharia, his credibility in Africa will be destroyed.
Anglicans in parts of Nigeria live under what is, in effect, totalitarian Sharia. It goes without saying Williams does not defend the stoning of adulterous women and other charming Islamic practices. But, in his interview with the BBC, his condemnation of "bad" Sharia is deeply buried in acres of Vichyite waffle about the need to see Sharia "case by case within an overall framework of the principles laid down in the Koran and the Hadith".
For the Archbishop of Canterbury to propose an extension of British Sharia in the same week that we learned of the extent to which the Sharia authorities cover up "honour crimes" reveals a degree of ineptitude that even George Carey never managed.
And, talking of George, watch this space. Lord Carey of Clifton is no fan of his successor, but a very big fan of African Anglicans persecuted by Sharia. I would be very surprised if he can resist intervening in this dispute.
Anyway, I reckon it’s all over for Rowan.