This Meddlesome Priest

Not surprisingly, Christopher Hitchens has weighed in with an article on the Rowan Williams dustup. I missed it when it came out on the 11th, but ran across it today.

Regarding the Archbishop of Canterbury’s suggestion that the British legal system be extended to include Shari’a courts for Muslims, Hitchens writes:

Picture the life of a young Urdu-speaking woman brought to Yorkshire from Pakistan to marry a man—quite possibly a close cousin—whom she has never met. He takes her dowry, beats her, and abuses the children he forces her to bear. She is not allowed to leave the house unless in the company of a male relative and unless she is submissively covered from head to toe. Suppose that she is able to contact one of the few support groups that now exist for the many women in Britain who share her plight. What she ought to be able to say is, “I need the police, and I need the law to be enforced.” But what she will often be told is, “Your problem is better handled within the community.” And those words, almost a death sentence, have now been endorsed and underwritten—and even advocated—by the country’s official spiritual authority.

Read the article here.

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