• Islam •
May 1, 2009
It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. The prophets of secularization were absolutely certain that religious belief would recede in the modern age. As they saw the new age coming, they were confident that religious belief — or at least any strong form of belief – would burn away like the morning mist as modernity took shape.
April 8, 2009
April 7, 2009
Recent polling of Americans’ attitudes toward Islam and President Obama’s visit to Turkey prompted an interesting conversation between Dr. Mohler and a number of fellow panelists on CNN last night. On today’s program, Dr. Mohler further explores the issues raised by thinking through a distinctively Christian perspective on Islam.
May 29, 2008
The name of the Bin Laden family is now known throughout the world – a name of infamy. But long before the events of September 11, 2001, the Bin Laden family was well established in Saudi Arabia and in much of the Arab world. Journalist Steve Coll, winner of the Pulitzer Prize while at The Washington Post, traces the development of the Bin Ladens in a narrative that is indispensable to understanding the events of 9/11 and the challenge Osama Bin Laden and radical Islamic groups now represent. The book, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century, is both important and timely.
February 13, 2008
The Archbishop of Canterbury has instant access to the media and his office carries a great deal of symbolic weight in Great Britain, where he is the senior cleric in the established church. That said, the current archbishop, Rowan Williams, seems to attract an unprecedented amount of controversy.
As a matter of fact, the Archbishop’s current controversy now threatens his leadership, with senior figures calling for his resignation and even his predecessor lambasting his arguments. Some in the media are even questioning his state of mind, asking what many others must be thinking.
What got the Archbishop in such trouble? He called the establishment of some kind of Islamic Sharia law in Britain inevitable.
For the past two or three decades, Britain has been engaged in a radical experiment in abandoning its own national identity. It has encouraged a huge number of Islamic immigrants to enter the country. This explains why some of the most extreme sects of Islam have taken root on British soil. Just a few weeks ago, another senior cleric warned that some areas of Britain’s cities has become “no go” zones for non-Muslims. Any casual visitor to some British cities will know exactly what he means.
Of course, with a large Muslim population comes pressure for Muslims to be able to live under Sharia law, especially when governing matters of marriage, family law, and related issues. The amazing thing is that Archbishop Williams seems to think this is inevitable.
In an address he delivered February 7, Williams tried to offer a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between the law and religious minorities in a secular society. His analysis was, if anything, so sophisticated that no one seems able to make sense of it. What was clear was that the Archbishop sees the arrival of Sharia law as something that cannot and should not be prevented. Part of the problem seems to be that the Archbishop entertained the notion that Sharia law could be limited in a way that would protect Western norms — a notion that appears ludicrous to most of his fellow citizens.
The reaction was explosive. Influential columnist Ruth Gledhill of The Times asked the obvious question: “Has the Archbishop gone bonkers?” This is how she saw the issue:
And now Queen Elizabeth II’s very own Archbishop – and let’s not forget she is his Church’s Supreme Governor – wants to introduce a new ‘jurisdiction into this realm of England.’ And an Islamic one at that!
It is one thing for judges to take Shariainto account, as has happened in Germany. It is quite another to follow the line the Archbishop is suggesting. It led to near disaster in Ontario, Canada two years ago and would created untold and unnecessary distress here were it to be implemented here.
The Archbishop has staked everything on trying to maintain unity in his own Anglican Communion. At the same time, he is advocating a policy that could only fragment the society around him.
In another column, Gledhill would tie the Archbishop’s proposal to “intellectual arrogance.” Whatever the cause, the Archbishop’s proposal has caused a conflagration in Britain. The Queen, who constitutionally serves as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, is said to believe that Archbishop Williams is undermining the credibility of his office and of his church.
Europe is fast abandoning its Christian heritage, but when the Archbishop of Canterbury sets himself as an advocate for Sharia law in Britain, some key watershed has been crossed. Ruth Gledhill’s question is the right one.
January 24, 2008
The emergence of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terror organizations is a story that demands far greater attention than most Americans have yet invested. Given the importance of this story — not only for understanding 9/11, but for understanding the present — this is a matter that demands a substantial education on the part of the American public.
January 10, 2008
January 8, 2008
August 22, 2007
A retiring Roman Catholic bishop in the Netherlands has been making headlines around the world in recent days with his suggestion that Dutch Christians should pray to Allah.
July 9, 2007
The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding of Seattle made news in recent weeks by declaring herself to be both a Christian and a practicing Muslim. The Episcopal priest lives in Seattle and is scheduled to teach for the next academic year at Seattle University (a Jesuit institution).
June 20, 2007
Members of the Episcopal Church must brace themselves these days when they pick up the newspaper. The church is currently roiled by controversies over homosexuality and a host of other issues. Indeed, the Episcopal Church, US [ECUSA] is in danger of losing its relationship with the larger Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexuality alone.