Take a look at this story.
I anticipated something like this would happen in an areopagus discussion a few months ago. It seems one is being challenged for criticising the custom of first-cousin interbreeding. Why? Anti-Islam sentiment?
There is no doubt that this observation is a critique; the question is (not an important one): is this a critique on a religious practice, or a social practice?
My intuitive answer is, its a cultural practice, and not a religious one. Then we may go through the normal route and say, even though it isn’t, in principle, criticism of religion is an acceptable practice, even if it isn’t!
But, perhaps I have made a fault here. From conversations with Muslim colleagues; there is no construal of secularism in the way that the Europeans and North Americans have; for Islam permeates all of life; so as not to make a legitimate distinction between the cultural and the religious; so all is submitted under God; a critique of culture in practice is a critique of God. This is an interesting and difficult relativist thought…I won’t pursue it at this point.
Instead, I’ll just raise the standard secularist point. A critique on religion, is, insofar as it is done within the proper channels [that is, politics, culture and academia (not everyone might make this stipulation I admit)], a necessary and healthy component of a contemporary and an enlightenment society.
Isn’t it odd how Dr. Williams’ mild suggestion about Sharia law [in an act of tolerance] put him under serious fire, yet a direct critique on a social group is construed [which if anything is, intolerance to incest …which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!]. Dr. Williams deserves another post from the Noumenal realm at some point…