There has been huge controversy surrounding the Archbishop of Canterbury this week because of his remarks in a radio interview about the inevitable adoption of Sharia law parts of the UK.  As with most modern news reporting there is “widespread recognition that the shape and form of his remarks was inappropriate but have been spun out of recognition”.  It would seem that most people are not concerned with what he has said but more with what he is perceived to have said.  The heated debate between the various factions within the CofE will no doubt continue regardless of anything I have to say here in this little corner of the internet.

However, the debate that the Archbishop has started is an interesting and important one for those of us who live in areas like West Yorkshire or Lancashire.  We have increasingly large Muslim communities living in these areas paralleled with a sharp rise in support for the BNP and their right wing views.  Communities are becoming deeper entrenched into separatist areas with little contact between communities.  There are large areas where the languages that are spoken are predominantly not English whilst in other areas, the cross of St George is brandished as a warning shot across the multicultural bow.  To suggest a two tiered system of law is to further erode the social cohesion to which many are working towards.  The Archbishop has sparked this debate on a national level but it has raging for years in the North of England.  That said, his remarks may at face value seem to be in the interests of a multicultural society but they are in fact divisive.  It will be interesting to see how the matter is treated in General Synod this week.

Hopefully the north can work towards the greater levels of social integration experienced by the cities of the south.  The debate continues…