Saturday, 16 February 2008

And now, public calls for 'real' Shari'ah

[...] The nuanced arguments about Sharia law set out by Dr Williams have been lost on most people, but this was not the first time that I had heard support for the harsher elements of the law, particularly its punishments for miscreants and wrongdoers.

I suggested that the Government’s idea of introducing five hours of lessons in “high culture” in schools might stem the rising tide of anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence.

“Culture, my ****,” he said, quoting Ricky Tomlinson, aka Jim Royle, a cultural icon of our age. “Flog ’em.”

He might have a point. High culture – which in the Government’s terms means occasional visits to art galleries and theatres – cannot be taught in five hours a week. It is an integral part of the fabric of a society and reflects the health of that society.

Culture, high or otherwise, has steadily declined in this country over many years, which is why we see litter-strewn streets populated by drunken youths who take pleasure in defacing public buildings and even monuments in our towns and cities.

Mindless graffiti – perhaps the best indicator of cultural decline – is on the increase in South Wales. Even Penarth, which was once regarded as a sophisticated town of high culture, has been defaced by graffiti.

Walk the streets of Penarth or any other graffiti-scarred town in South Wales, and you will hear growing support for Sharia-style punishments for those responsible. That in itself is a worrying trend and certainly not what the Archbishop was talking about. Read more

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