Punkscience beat me to it. Rowan Williams is an idiot. Sharia law has no place in a rational society.
If people want to follow a set of philosophical rules that's fine, as long as they don't force those rules on anyone, or demand that those rules require respect, recognition and protection, and the application of those rules doesn't hurt anyone.
The problem with religion based systems like Sharia is that those living in religious communities will be pressured to adhere to the laws and accept 'legal' decisions, even when there is no rational reason to do so other than community peer pressure and diktat from religious authority.
Laws based on the interpretation of ancient myth and rely on the authority of religious zealots have no place in the 21st Century. Considering the influence of Wahabi Imams in British Islamic society - an extreme and fundamentalist view of Islam which has gone a significant way in the radicalisation of modern Muslim doctrine - putting laws into the hands of these medieval nutters is dangerous and divisive.
We should be reducing the influence of religion, not increasing it.
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