Hence he has chosen to dwell on this topic a little longer, and he regrets if the patience of his readers is unduly taxed thereby.
Here is the reaction of the redoubtable Christopher Johnson, of the excellent Midwest Conservative Journal (to which Melancholicus links all too infrequently, alas). Melancholicus could not have said it better than this:
Dr. Williams has no business being shocked by this controversy. Rightly or wrongly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is still one of the most important religious figures in the world so that anything he says is going to paid attention to even by non-Anglicans.
What's tough to understand is Dr. Williams' obtuseness about all this. One reason, I think, has to do with the fact that my gracious lord of Canterbury is a liberal Anglican. Liberal Anglcans believe that all men, regardless of their religion, are reasonable and civilized and that all problems can be solved over a glass of really good Port.
So if the Muslim scholars with whom he regularly confers assure him that sharia is actually gentle and benign, Dr. Williams will be inclined to believe them. He will also be inclined to believe that Great Britain will easily be able to pick and choose which aspects of sharia will apply and which will not.
Confront him with the way that what sharia there is in Britain actually functions and he will profess to be horrified and tell you that "Muslim scholars" view such applications as distortions. Perhaps Dr. Williams and his defenders can explain what comfort the opinions of "Muslim scholars" will be to a Muslim woman dragged into a sharia court and then kicked to the curb by her abusive husband with the approval of such a barbaric "court" for I certainly cannot.
The other reason is much simpler. The idea of calling Muslim savagery what it is, the idea of standing up for the religion he claims to profess and the idea of telling Muslims that they are, well, wrong are ideas too terrifying for men like Rowan Williams to contemplate.
So it is much easier to have "interfaith" meetings than to confront the truth. It is far easier to believe the honeyed words of "Muslim scholars" that sharia doesn't really mean that.
Because if you know what sharia really is and how it is really applied, you have to speak out against such an evil. Unless you value the opinion of the world more than the opinion of your God. Or unless you are a moral coward.
Mr. Johnson also links to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, writing in The Independent, giving a Muslim woman’s perspective on the practice of sharia, and an article which Melancholicus recommends to all his readers.