Tom Carew, guest writer from Dublin, Ireland writes about the concerns of Sharia Law being introduced through subversive actions upon a nation. Our traditional ally, the United Kingdom is facing crucial internal problems while keeping the basics of democracy and still retaining liberal ideologies. In this, America and our European counterpart are facing a conundrum. Mr. Carew writes via email [edited]:
Is Episcopalian Archbishop Rowan Williams, in calling for Sharia Law in UK, not guilty of what Gilbert Ryle in 1949 [Concept of Mind] diagnosed as a “Category Mistake” - rights of conscience belong primarily to persons rather than to faiths as such, and it is because of personal convictions, not the official view of some or any faiths, that state law may justifiably allow for "conscientious objectors", as regards controverted fundamental ethical issues e.g. military conscription, or abortion.
And surely what is needed in essence is "a free faith in a free state", where the task of challenging obscurantism is carried out by vigorous and untrammeled debate in the free and open marketplace of ideas? Not by any quango, nor by state law or supervision, nor restricted by invocations of “blasphemy” or “diversity” or “multi-culturalism”.
The ABC also disturbingly seems to favour retaining and enforcing collective cultural identity, not personal, or civic, identity, whereas we need to install our membership in that primary tribe, our common humanity, in the centre of our consciousness and relations, and not have our interactions or explorations always mediated or delimited by existing faith traditions or institutions.