Skip to comments.Britain's Encounter with Islamic Law
Posted on 02/12/2008 10:51:52 AM PST by kingattax
Beneath the deceptively placid surface of everyday life, the British population is engaged in a momentous encounter with Islam. Three developments of the past week, each of them culminating years' long trend and not just some odd occurrence exemplify changes now underway.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith describes terrorism as "anti-Islamic." First, the UK government has decided that terrorism by Muslims in the name of Islam is actually unrelated to Islam, or even anti-Islamic. This notion took root in 2006 when the Foreign Office, afraid that the term "war on terror" would inflame British Muslims, sought language that upholds "shared values as a means to counter terrorists." By early 2007, the European Union issued a classified handbook that banned jihad, Islamic, and fundamentalist in reference to terrorism, offering instead some "non-offensive" phrases. Last summer, Prime Minister Gordon Brown prohibited his ministers from using the word Muslim in connection with terrorism. In January, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith went further, actually describing terrorism as "anti-Islamic." And last week the Home Office completed the obfuscation by issuing a counter-terrorism phrasebook that instructs civil servants to refer only to violent extremism and criminal murderers, not Islamist extremism and jihadi-fundamentalists.
Second, and again culminating several years of evolution, the British government now recognizes polygamous marriages. It changed the rules in the "Tax Credits (Polygamous Marriages) Regulations 2003": previously, only one wife could inherit assets tax-free from a deceased husband; this legislation permits multiple wives to inherit tax-free, so long as the marriage had been contracted where polygamy is legal, as in Nigeria, Pakistan, or India. In a related matter, the Department for Work and Pensions began issuing extra payments to harems for such benefits as jobseeker allowances, housing subventions, and council tax relief. Last week came news that, after a year-long review, four government departments (Work and Pensions, Treasury, Revenue and Customs, Home Office) concluded that formal recognition of polygamy is "the best possible" option for Her Majesty's Government.
Third, the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, endorsed applying portions of the Islamic law (the Sharia) in Great Britain. Adopting its civil elements, he explained, "seems unavoidable" because not all British Muslims relate to the existing legal system and applying the Sharia would help with their social cohesion. When Muslims can go to an Islamic civil court, they need not face "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty." Continuing to insist on the "legal monopoly" of British common law rather than permit Shari'a, Williams warned, would bring on "a bit of a danger" for the country.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says that Islamic law in Great Britain "seems unavoidable." Prime Minister Brown immediately slammed Williams' suggestion: Sharia law, his office declared, "cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English law, nor can the principle of Sharia law be used in a civilian court. the Prime Minister believes British law should apply in this country, based on British values." Criticism of Williams came additionally from all sides of the political spectrum from Sayeeda Warsi, the Tory (Muslim) shadow minister for community cohesion and social action; Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats; and Gerald Batten of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Secular and Christian groups opposed Williams. So did Trevor Phillips, head of the equality commission. The Anglican church in Australia denounced his proposal, along with leading members of his own church, including his predecessor, Lord Carey. Melanie Phillips called his argument "quite extraordinarily muddled, absurd and wrong." The Sun newspaper editorialized that "It's easy to dismiss Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as a silly old goat. In fact he's a dangerous threat to our nation." It concludes acerbically that "The Archbishop of Canterbury is in the wrong church."
Although widely denounced (and in danger of losing his job), Williams may be right about the Sharia being unavoidable, for it is already getting entrenched in the West. A Dutch justice minister announced that "if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist." A German judge referred to the Koran in a routine divorce case. A parallel Somali gar courts system already exists in Britain.
These developments suggest that British appeasement concerning the war on terror, the nature of the family, and the rule of law are part of a larger pattern. Even more than the security threat posed by Islamist violence, these trends are challenging and perhaps will change the very nature of Western life.
The only solution to this problem seems to be the final solution.
They’ll be sorry when someone’s head turns up in a ditch.
Britain is circling the drain......
Those who know Islamic history, as described in books such as The Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer or The Legacy of Jihad by Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, know that looting and stealing the property of non-Muslims has been part and parcel of Jihad from the very beginning. In fact, so much of the behavior of Muhammad and early Muslims could be deemed criminal that it is difficult to know where crime ends and Jihad begins. In the city of Oslo, it is documented that some of the criminal gangs also have close ties to Jihadist groups at home and abroad. As Dutch Arabist Hans Jansen points out, the Koran is seen by some Muslims as a God-given “hunting licence,” granting them the right to assault and even murder non-Muslims. It is hardly accidental that while Muslims make up a minority of the population in France, they make up an estimated seventy percent of French prison inmates.
Why would anybody in their right mind want to import Islam, the most destructive force on the planet? Are EU leaders naïve? I don’t think so, at least not all of them. You cannot maintain political power in the long run if you are totally naive.
We are told to treat cultural and historical identities as fashion accessories, shirts we can wear and change at will. The Multicultural society is “colorful,” an adjective normally attached to furniture or curtains. Cultures are window decorations of little or no consequence, and one might as well have one as the other. In fact, it is good to change it every now and then. Don’t you get tired of that old sofa sometimes? What about exchanging it for the new sharia model? Sure, it’s slightly less comfortable than the old one, but it’s very much in vogue these days and sets you apart from the neighbors, at least until they get one, too. Do you want a sample of the latest Calvin Klein perfume to go with that sharia?
I have heard individuals state point blank that even if Muslims become the majority in our countries in the future, this doesn’t matter because all people are equal and all cultures are just a mix of everything else, anyway. And since religions are just fairy-tales, replacing one fairy-tale with another one won’t make a big difference. All religions basically say that the same things in different ways. However, not one of them would ever dream of saying that all political ideologies “basically mean the same thing.” They simply don’t view religious or cultural ideas as significant, and thus won’t spend time on studying the largely unimportant details of each specific creed.
The EU is gradually reducing the indigenous people of an entire continent to the likely future status of second-rate citizen in their own countries. It is quite possibly the greatest betrayal in the history of European civilization since the fall of the Roman Empire, yet it is hailed as a “peace project” in the media. It is shameful to witness the bullying displayed by EU leaders vis-à-vis the Serbs, who are being forced to give up their land to Muslim thugs. This template will eventually be used against all Europeans. As Srdja Trifkovic warns, even if the Serbs are robbed of Kosovo, Muslims will not thank the West:
“In Europe most nations want to defend themselveseven the ultra-tolerant Dutch have seen the light after Theo van Gogh’s murderbut cannot do so because they are hamstrung by a ruling class composed of guilt-ridden self-haters and appeasers. Their hold on the political power, the media, and the academe is undemocratic, unnatural, obscene. If Europe is to survive they need to be unmasked for what they are: traitors to their nations and their culture. If Europe is to survive, they must be replaced by people ready and willing to subject the issues of immigration and identity to the test of democracy, unhindered by administrative or judicial fiat. For those reasons too, Serbia must not give up Kosovo. By giving it up it would encourage the spirit that seeks the death of Europe and its surrender to the global totalitarianism of Muhammad’s successors. Not for the first time, in Kosovo the Serbs are fighting a fight that is not theirs alone.”
ooooooohhhhh... I didnt know that. I dont think the Jihad Terrorists know it either. Jacqui Smith better go meet with the Al Qaeda leadership and explain that to them before they look silly.
This article is rather bizarre in that it uses very anecdotal evidence to suggest that the British are appeasing Islam, while ignoring general British policy. It neglects the fact that the UK currently has many thousands of troops in two Muslim countries: Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, if the UK, as the only country to be standing to this degree with the US in the Middle East, is to be called an appeasing state then where does that leave the rest of the world?
To address its points: the changing of phraseology in addressing terrorism has nothing at all to do with a fear of Muslim riots in the streets. For goodness sake, we have military forces in Muslim countries. The term ‘War on Terror’ (which is still used in the UK despite the statement in the article that it was stopped in the UK in 2006?) is logically flawed. Firstly, it gives the thugs and murderers that we face the false, unjust honour of bearing the name ‘soldier’. Secondly, phrasing our current struggle in these terms is not helpful. Its like declaring a ‘War on Crime’: when will it ever end? When could victory be declared? Changes in phrases used elsewhere (which I have also yet to hear) would be aimed to encourage more moderate Muslims to make a stand against the fanatics.
The Rowan Williams row goes to show that the UK population will not tolerate any intrusion into the integrity of British law. The British governent criticised William’s remarks and stated that there was no place for Sharia law in the UK. How is it fair to judge the UK on the comments of one man?
As Sir Winston said, “Appeasment is negotiating with the alligator in the hope that he will eat you last.”
“By early 2007, the European Union issued a classified handbook that banned jihad, Islamic, and fundamentalist in reference to terrorism, offering instead some “non-offensive” phrases. Last summer, Prime Minister Gordon Brown prohibited his ministers from using the word Muslim in connection with terrorism. In January, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith went further, actually describing terrorism as “anti-Islamic.”
Oh I get it. Confuse them. Dang they smart /s
I think there is the same war in the UK as in the US, between the usual lefty idiots who happen to have the mike, and the sane people.
The Home Secretary, the Foreign office and the Archbishop - especially the Archbishop - have come out of this looking like idiots. (No doubt if Prince Charles had been asked for a quote he would have said something squishy and shameful as well).
But the public excoriation of Williams has frankly been heartening.
I completely agree. The fact that these stories have been so controversial in the UK is good news. People are keeping a very close eye on the situation. To be fair to Prince Charles, even he has apparently distanced himself from the Archbishop’s comments!
Well, UKSUPPORT1, I read your thoughtful post to the Dan Pipes article. Mr. Pipes is a thoughtful and knowledgeable foreign affairs analyst — and has been for decades.
He sites the apparent recognition of bigamous marriage by the British government. Is that inaccurate?
I am a US citizen currently in Mexico. Daily I see the difference between Spanish and British Common Law. You would renew your appreciation of the legacy of Blackstone and basic fairness that flows from that British mainstay if you witness what I witness daily. Why a supposedly thoughtful archbishop wants to integrate a retrograde legal system (retrograde if you are a woman or an infidel) into that “fabric” is not “anecdotal.”
And the British government “de-linking” jihadi terrorism from its source is also adverted to in the article. It puzzles us on this side of the Atlantic that the source of violent jihad (Islam as expounded by more than a few British mullahs) is irrelevant.
What we see developing is more than disheartening.
I certainly do not wish to start a flame war about this, and I trust you understand my points here. We have similar trends in the US, though not as pronounced.
It seems to many that Britain is simply unwilling to call a spade a spade. That just deepens the hole being dug.
Are they sure that we will come to help this time?
“British law should apply in this country, based on British values.”
There is the answer: based on British values, when the majority of the population are Muslim, then British values are Islamic....
Thanks for your comments. Just to come back on a few points:
“Why a supposedly thoughtful archbishop wants to integrate a retrograde legal system (retrograde if you are a woman or an infidel) into that ‘fabric’ is not ‘anecdotal’.”
I completely agree and should have been more specific on this point. Rowan Williams has dominated the news headlines in the UK for the past few days. There has been a huge wave of criticism against his comments (as there should be). His actual speech referenced the horrendous treatment of people under Sharia law and he commented that his argument was regarding marriage/ divorce law etc. Even so he has been rightfully criticized with hecklers calling on him to resign in the street. My point is that this incident, rather than showing weakness on the part of British society has shown the exact opposite. The huge anger aimed at William’s comments were far more telling than the Archbishop’s speech in the end.
RE: the ‘Islamic terrorism’ label. To be honest, I have yet to hear a Western leader ‘call a spade a spade’ as you put it since 9/11. The British media oftens makes a fuss about ‘leaked memos’ etc that turn out to be a load of nonsense and I haven’t noted a shift in the language being used here (at least in the media).
I’m sure Dan Pipes is an excellent analyst (and alot smarter than me as well!). I fully accept that valid criticisms can be made of UK policy in some respects. However, I believe it important to keep a wider perspective on these issues. Keeping military forces in two Muslim countries does not look like appeasement to me.