The Archbishop of Canterbury made the cover of almost every British newspaper today after condoning the application of sharia law in Muslim communities in Britain. Although Rowan Williams rejected the extreme versions of sharia practiced in parts of the Muslim world, he said in a lecture last night that the spread of the religious law in Britain was "inevitable" and that for settling some issues, such as marital disputes, he favored "constructive accommodation."
The comments were met with widespread disapproval. The prime minister's office insisted that British law had to be "based on British values," and the home secretary went further: "There is one law in this country and it's the democratically determined law." Even the Muslim Council of Britain, the country's most prominent Islamic association, admitted most Muslims in Britain do not want to be subject to sharia.