Skip to comments.Let people wear cross or veil, says Archbishop
Posted on 10/27/2006 4:43:55 AM PDT by NonLinear
THE Archbishop of Canterbury today warns politicians not to interfere with a Muslim womans right to wear the veil in public and cautions against a march towards secularism in British society.
In a dramatic intervention Dr Rowan Williams, who is backed by other senior church leaders, said that the Government must not become a licensing authority that decides which religious symbols are acceptable.
Writing in The Times he adds that any ban on the veil would be politically dangerous. His comments reflect concern within the Church that some members of the Government want to see Britain follow the same route as France, where secularism is close to being a national religion.
The ideal of a society where no visible public signs of religion would be seen no crosses round necks, no sidelocks, turbans or veils is a politically dangerous one, he writes. It assumes that what comes first in society is the central political licensing authority, which has all the resource it needs to create a workable public morality.
His comments came as the Education Secretary Alan Johnson dropped plans to force all new faith schools to take non-faith pupils after pressure from Catholics, Jews and Muslims.
Mr Johnson made the concession after receiving assurances from both the Church of England and the Catholic Church that they would accept non-faith pupils. Many in the Church regarded the move as a first step towards secularisation.
Bishops in the Church of England have long regarded their role in public life, and their privilege of having 26 seats in the House of Lords, as giving them an obligation to speak out in defence of other faiths as well as their own. The Archbishops comments have been made with the backing of at least two senior diocesan bishops.
The Bishop of Southwark, the Right Rev Tom Butler, said: The Archbishop brings a helpful perspective to recent disputes concerning religious symbols. Religious symbols add to the richness of our society and we should not be too influenced by those who push such symbols to excess.
The Right Rev Colin Buchanan, the retired Bishop of Woolwich, who is now an assistant bishop in the Bradford diocese, which has one of the highest proportions of Muslims of any diocese, added that any attempt to ban religious symbols would open not just a can but an entire barrel of worms.
Dr Williams, who has just returned from a controversial two-week visit China, the worlds largest atheist state, said that a proverbial visitor from Mars might have imagined from recent events that the greatest immediate threat to British society was religious war.
He said that this appeared to have led some to question whether Britain should become a secular society. He added that this would be a mistake.
He also said: Up to now, we have taken for granted that the State is not the source of morality and legitimacy but a system that brokers, mediates and attempts to co-ordinate the moral resources of specific communities which make up the national unit.
This is a secular system in the sense that it does not impose legal and civil disabilities on any one religious body; but it is not secular in the sense of giving some kind of privilege to a non-religious or anti-religious set of commitments or policies.
Moving towards the latter would change our political culture more radically than we imagine.
But secularists said that the Archbishop was misguided. Terry Sanderson, of the National Secular Society, said: The way we are going in this country with the rise of Islam, the churches should look at secularism as their best friend.
Otherwise we are in danger of going down the same road as Northern Ireland or Iraq. Secularism is one of the best things that can happen to protect religions from being persecuted or persecuting each other.
But leading Muslims echoed Dr Williams position. Tariq Ramadan, a visiting professor at Oxford University, said: Some politicians are using this [issue] because they have an agenda to push. In Britain wearing the veil and the niqab is legal. But both here and across Europe there is a movement to try and change the law by nurturing fears.
He added: Many Muslims do not realise that by reacting emotionally to the politicians they are alienating citizens.
Run - don't walk from the C of E and other "mainstream protestant denominations".
Franklin Graham said it best - " Allah is not the God of Moses. Allah had no son.
Good morning..heck of a way to start the day, eh?
"THE Archbishop of Canterbury today warns politicians not to interfere with a Muslim womans right to wear the veil in public and cautions against a march towards secularism in British society."
Perhaps the Archbishop is trying to get some concession when the politicians allow Muslim women to wear the veil. Not sure that the Archbishop will still have a job when the country adopts Shira law.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is an idiot.
Syncretism . . . by baby-steps.
In Western tradition, a mask is meant to conceal identity usually for reasons to disguise those who carry our their will against others using force, bandits and police. The terrorists in the Mideast use masks to conceal their covert murders.
The only value I see in Islamic women wearing a veil is to protect their faces from acid being thrown at them by Islamic men, I mean animals.
The West has too many religious leaders who say stupid things that turn out to hurt those who don't even listen to them and follow a secular life. I need Islam in my community like I need a hole in the head. This idiot thinks he is protecting all of us by protecting Islam. My head hurts.
Translation: The Archbishop is engaged in the equivalent of the airline mechanics' union walking off the job in a support strike when the airline pilots' union demands higher wages.
Civilized Western nations don't have masked police (and the rare exceptions are among agencies noted for their abuses, e.g. the BATF).
Actually, it occurs to me that many US jurisdictions have anti-public-mask laws (originally aimed at the Ku Klux Klan). Narrowly carved exceptions for general public purposes (e.g. Halloween celebrations) are one thing, but an exception designed to serve a specific religious sect would seem to run afoul of the First Amendment.
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
Absolutely stupid comment from the AB. Wearing a mask in public, for reasons other than to stop the spread of a serious epidemic, should be against the law.
So much for Halloween, eh, pepperdoginthemanger....?
If your problem with this is that you don't like or trust Muslims, why not just say so?
Of course, it's not the Muslim women who are the ones causing all the trouble....
"...it's not the Muslim women who are the ones causing all the trouble...."
No, they just give birth to muslim males, who then cause all the trouble. And I'd like to know when not trusting muslims became a "problem"? Give us one good reason why any of them ought to be trusted?
I agree with him.
If he's talking about dressing like this
(that's Michael Jackson, BTW) then he's out of his mind with the disease of liberalism.
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