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Tony Grist

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The Archbishop And Islam [Feb. 12th, 2008|08:30 am]
Tony Grist

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a beardy, religious guy. When he speaks about sharia law becoming "unavoidable" in Britain and "clarifies" this remark by looking forward to "a helpful interaction between the courts and the practice of Muslim legal scholars in this country"  he's standing up for beardy religious guys everywhere.

His defenders go on about him being a deep thinker (he's certainly not a clear one) but his instinct that beardy religious guys should stick together (or to use his own language, that "it is not inappropriate for a pastor of the Church of England to address issues around the perceived concerns of other religious communities") is shallow.

Anglicanism and Islam belong to different worlds.   An Anglican theologian- like the Archbishop himself- is a product of the Reformation and the Enlightenment and  has been required by his training to question and test his faith;  the Muslim theologian isn't and hasn't.   The similarities- beards, robes, bookisness- are all on the surface; the differences- core beliefs and intellectual methods- are- or should be-  fundamental. 

But the archbishop makes a habit of siding with closed minds against open minds.  He's also done it in the argument in his own communion over gay priests. His speech to synod- which I've quoted above- goes on to criticise the Episcopal Church of America as "patronising... manipulative (and) insensitive" for appointing a gay bishop but has nothing to say against the gay-bashing clergy of West Africa. 

There's a name for this atavism- when an intellectual chooses to side with the enemies of his own high culture.  It's this- trahison des clercs.

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Comments:
From: msjann65
2008-02-12 08:20 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's time for the old boy to resign, since he seems to have entered his dotage.

The following came to me in an email today - I have cut out the parts that sling mud at one of our presidential candidates, even though I do not personally support that candidate. I have also cut out any allegations about Muslims that seem to be from the lunatic fringe.
Here's what's left:

"Can a good Muslim be a good American?
Theologically - no. . . . Because his allegiance is to Allah.
Religiously - no. . . . Because no other religion is accepted by good Muslims except Islam.
Scripturally - no. . . . Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
??Socially - no. . . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews. (I questioned this one)
Politically - no. . . . Because he must submit to the mullahs, who teach annihilation of Israel and label America the great Satan.
Domestically - no. . . Because husbands are permitted to beat their wives for any reason whatsoever. Also, women are expected to keep their bodies completely covered head to toe whenever outside of the family circle, and to keep their mouths shut and their opinions to themselves.
Intellectually - no. . . . Because he cannot accept a democratic Constitution since these have doctrines that are contrary to the Quran.
Philosophically - no. . . . Because Islam does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic, a theocracy with a state religion.
They obviously cannot be both "good" Muslims and good Americans."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-02-13 09:50 am (UTC)
I'd question most of these statements.

1. Allah is the Arabic word for God. Islam, Christianity and Judaism are all Abrahamic religions and acknowledge the same God. Allah isn't some pagan deity but the God of the Bible under another name. If the Muslim cannot be a good American because of his alliegance to Allah/God, then the Christian and the Jew are similarly disabled and the only good Americans are pagans and atheists.

2. Is religious tolerance the defining mark of a good American? If so a lot of Christians fail the test.

3. What's scripture got to do with it? A Muslim can accept the Constitution of the USA as readily as a Christian can- and that's the only "scripture" that counts towards citizenship. The person who drew up this list seems to think (without explicitly saying so) that the Christian Bible is a foundation document of the USA. He/she is quite simply wrong.

And so on...




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