The Archbishop of Canterbury is attempting to back away from the controversy he started with his comments that Sharia law in Britain seemed "unavoidable." At this point, he appears to be trying to head off the people who are demanding he resign – or be removed from his position.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has hit back at calls for his resignation over his comments on sharia law.
Dr Rowan Williams insisted he "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".
In a statement on his website, the Archbishop said he made no proposals for sharia but was simply "exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience".
He said his aim was to tease out some of the broader issues around the rights of religious groups within a secular state, using "sharia as an example".
His statement comes after he faced calls for his resignation from members of the General Synod, the Church of England's "parliament".
Unfortunately for Williams, those calls are becoming increasingly strident:
One of those calling for the Archbishop's resignation, Colonel Edward Armitstead, a Synod member from the diocese of Bath and Wells, said: "I don't think he is the man for the job. One wants to be charitable, but I sense that he would be far happier in a university where he can kick around these sorts of ideas."
Alison Ruoff, a Synod member from London, said: "He is a disaster for the Church of England. He vacillates, he is a weak leader and he does not stand up for the Church."
At this point, I am not at all sure how this will play out. Williams is completely in over his head in the job and is not provoking dialog or "teasing issues out." He is infuriating people and damaging the Church of England.