The Archbishop of Canterbury has faced criticism from across the political spectrum for saying the introduction of parts of Sharia law into Britain was “unavoidable”.
But his words have been welcomed by some.
On EuroNews, one young man in Manchester said: “I think that it’s good, you know. I think that’s right. Britain needs that because people are out of control sometimes. They need a proper law and Islam provides that.”
Another man said: “Well, I think it’s a good idea really because of all the lawlessness you see nowadays. Sharia law counts for a lot, you make a mistake once and you get punished and learn from your mistake.”
The spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans faced widespread condemnation and even ridiclue from the British press.
Rowan Williams said Muslims should not have to choose between what he called the stark alternatives of cultural or state loyalty.
Some 1.8 million Muslims live in the UK. The issue of their integration has been widely debated since four British Islamists bombed London’s transport network in 2005, killing 52 people.
Recent polls show 60 per cent of young Muslims would not like to see Sharia introduced in Britain.
Shadow Minister of Social Cohesion Baroness Sayyeda Warsi said: “Dr Williams appears to be suggesting that we have two systems of law running alongside each other, almost like parallel systems and people have a choice to opt in and opt out of that system and that to me is unacceptable.
“As British citizens – even if we have differences in relations with our race or religion – we all have to be subject to the same law: British law, made by the British parliament and interpreted by British courts.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury used financial matters and marital disputes as examples of areas where Sharia could be useful but for many this would be just the thin end of the wedge.