Archbishop: I won’t quit

The defiant Archbishop of Canterbury insisted yesterday that he will NOT quit or apologise over the sharia law storm. His spokesman said: “He feels this whole issue has been blown out of proportion.”

Dr Rowan Williams sparked uproar when he suggested that introducing Muslim laws into the UK is “unavoidable”.

The Archbishop has since been deluged with mail – “some very unwelcome and some very nasty,” said his spokesman. “He will explain his position tomorrow at the General Synod, the Church’s “parliament”. The spokesman said: “The Archbishop will not be standing down nor apologising.”

Sharia law is a code for Muslims’ daily life. Some Islamic countries punish adultery with death and repress women.

Dr Williams’s spokesman said: “He did not call for sharia’s introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law”. The Archbishop, 57, preached in Cambridge yesterday where he was greeted with boos and applause. He left without commenting.

Synod member Alison Ruoff said: “He is a disaster for the Church.” But the Bishop of Hulme, Rev Stephen Lowe, said Dr Williams was “one of the brightest Archbishops of Canterbury”.

Daily Mirror, 10 February 2008