Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Rowan Williams Hath Wrought

It is the kind of fear that grows daily, the fear that the fools who think they run the Modern world and who think the people are fools instead, are pushing the people with sense into insensible reactions. The following comment doesn't come from a prole on the dole. This is a middle class reader of an upscale paper:

"I've been tipped over the edge. After 40 years of supporting Labour I have today applied to join the BNP, probably now the only guardian of British values. I dare say many many others will do just the same."

Gordon Lonsdale, Northampton, UK

I dare say Gordon is right, and more's the pity.

The question to concern us all is: What are we gonna do! If we allow the BNP and its equivalents elsewhere to gain power, then what of us who are normal and decent like other normal and decent people pushed too far? I don't want to vote for the BNP. Not today, not tomorrow, not never. But I will, just like Gordon, if it's the only show in town worth seeing.

The following piece is erudite to a point it's doubtful that Gordon above would know all the allusions here, and most others not being literature students either, most likely, and not needing to be to know reality from dung, they still come to a sensible if frustrted conclusion that's hard to argue against. I find that though this piece below is clever and insightful Anne Applebaum says little more than Gordon, though she does so brilliantly.

A Craven Canterbury Tale
Tuesday, February 12, 2008; Page A19

Is this a storm in a teacup, as the archbishop now claims? Was the "feeding frenzy" biased and unfair? Certainly it is true that, since Thursday, when Rowan Williams -- the archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Church of England, symbolic leader of the international Anglican Communion -- called for "constructive accommodation" with some aspects of sharia law, and declared the incorporation of Muslim religious law into the British legal system "unavoidable," practically no insult has been left unsaid.

One Daily Telegraph columnist called the archbishop's statement a " disgraceful act of appeasement"; another called it a " craven counsel of despair." An Observer columnist eruditely wondered whether the archbishop's comment might count as a miracle, according to David Hume's definition of a miracle as a "violation of the laws of nature," while the notoriously sensationalistic Sun launched a campaign to remove the archbishop from office.

Feebly, the archbishop's supporters have tried to defend him, reporting that he is "completely overwhelmed" by the hostility and "in a state of shock." Arguing that his remarks were misunderstood, misinterpreted and taken out of context, his office even took the trouble to publish them, in lecture form and the radio interview version, on his official Web site. I highly recommend a closer look. Reading them, it instantly becomes clear that every syllable of the harshest tabloid criticism is more than well deserved. The archbishop's language is mild-mannered, legalistic, jargon-riddled; the sentiments behind them are profoundly dangerous.

What one British writer called the " jurisprudential kernel" of his thoughts is as follows: In the modern world, we must avoid the "inflexible or over-restrictive applications of traditional law" and must be wary of our "universalist Enlightenment system," which risks "ghettoizing" a minority. Instead, we must embrace the notion of "plural jurisdiction." This, in other words, was no pleasant fluff about tolerance for foreigners: This was a call for the evisceration of the British legal system as we know it.

I understand, of course, that sharia courts vary from country to country, that not every Muslim country stones adulterers and that some British Muslims volunteer to let unofficial sharia courts monitor their domestic disputes, which is not much different from choosing to work things out with the help of a marriage counselor. But the archbishop's speech actually touched on something far more fundamental: the question of whether all aspects of the British legal system necessarily apply to all the inhabitants of Britain.

This is no merely theoretical issue, since conflicts between sharia law and British law arise ever more frequently. One case before the British court of appeals concerns a man with learning disabilities who was "married" over the telephone to a woman in Bangladesh.

Though British law recognizes sharia weddings, just as it recognizes Jewish or Catholic weddings, this one, it has been argued, might be considered so "offensive to the conscience of the English court" that it cannot be recognized -- unless, of course, the fact that the marriage is legal under Bangladeshi sharia law is the most important consideration. Meanwhile, police in Wales are dealing with an epidemic of forced marriages, honor killings remain a perennial problem, and British law has already been altered to accommodate "sharia" mortgages. The archbishop is absolutely right in his belief that a universalist Enlightenment system -- one in which the legitimacy of the law derives from democratic procedures, not divine edicts, and in which the same rules apply to everyone living in the same society -- cannot easily accommodate all of these different practices.

Many explanations for the archbishop's statements have already been proffered: the weakness of the Church of England, the paganism of the British, the feebleness of Williams's intellect, the decline of the West. At base, though, his beliefs are merely an elaborate, intellectualized version of a commonly held, and deeply offensive, Western prejudice: Alone among all of the world's many religious groups, Muslims living in Western countries cannot be expected to conform to Western law -- or perhaps do not deserve to be treated as legal equals of their non-Muslim neighbors.

Every time police shrug their shoulders when a Muslim woman complains that she has been forced to marry against her will, every time a Western doctor tries not to notice the female circumcisions being carried out in his hospital, they are acting in the spirit of the archbishop of Canterbury. So is the social worker who dismisses the plight of an illiterate, house-bound woman, removed from her village and sent across the world to marry a man she has never met, on the grounds that her religion prohibits interference. That's why -- if there is to be war between the British tabloids and the archbishop -- I'm on the side of the Sun.

A very clever and accomplished woman like Anne Applebaum is on the side of the Sun, and Gordon and those like him are on the side of the BNP. That is due to the likes of Rowan Williams and the gnostic elitists who are currently enraging the Western world. I claim that such behaviour on the part of our disgusting intelligentsia is nothing short of a war crime. When a Sikh on a bicycle is attacked by an enraged Western mob, it will be due to the Left fascist dhimmitude of the intelligentsia that the innocent are harmed. It is the pandering and the enabling of the primitives in the world to the point they feel not merely entitled to insane and suicidal behaviour but compelled to commit it because they have been fed the role over the decades by elitist philobarbarists that decides me on terming our intelligentsia as war criminals. Giving aid and comfort and endless cheer-leading, not to mention billions in aid money, to ignorant and gullible peasants and then working them into fits of resentment against the demons of white middle-class sanctimony and self-righteousness for the sake of play-acting on the parts of the middle-class Death Hippies is a war crime, for which these awful bastards should be taken to the streets and there to be hanged from lamp posts. After a fair trial, of course. And since no one is saying that but me, the alternative is for the normal person to look for some relief from the mad hubris of the Rowan Williams and Tony Blair theatrical religiosity of the Left in some group such as the BNP.

Not everyone is as smart as Rowan Williams, but they aren't bloody stupid. Not everyone is as articulate as Anne Appleaum, but they can speak for themselves, and the word is increasingly: Enough! Soon it will be Enoch! And then the worst nightmares of us all will come to pass. Better to hang a few now than risk the terror to come if we don't act responsibly. Hang them after a fair trial, of course. But hang them before it's too late.


Anonymous said...

Present support for the BNP stands at about 15% of the population and its membership is growing. Under a proportional representation voting system, that level of support would have seen them get into parliament and, in turn, forced the government of the day to seriously address the intertwined issues of immigration and national security. The way things are going under their first-past-the-post voting system... well, we all know where they are headed.

Incidentally, you're not the only one who mentioned lamp posts. See the very end of this comment by a Dutchman.

Dag said...

That link is excellent. Thanks much.

I find it too bad, though, that we come to this conclusion. We don't have to have this kind of situation at all. Any small application of reason will clear it up quickly. But I don't see it coming.