In one sense the Archbishop is clearly right. Given the craven surrender of all governments to the demands of the race relations industry it can only be a matter of time before sharia law is fully recognised in the British legal system. Sharia compliant forms of banking are already allowed and Muslim men can claim benefits for more than one wife. However, this is not the sense that the Archbishop had in mind. Instead, he considers that sharia law is inevitable because he believes that this would be the right thing to do, which is why he became the focus of so much opprobrium.
The issue is a difficult one. How far do you allow minorities to do their own thing without it causing difficulties to the wider society? For the past thirty or so years governments have been promoting multiculturalism. The liberal establishment has finally noticed that this creates division, and thus potential conflict, within society. The response has been to promote the concept of 'community cohesion'. The problem with this new approach is that it requires a more proactive intervention and encouragement by the authorities, which is likely to be resisted or ignored by the general population, including minorities. In contrast, multiculturalism was a more laissez faire approach that allowed communities themselves to develop as they please.
Many of the critics of the Archbishop condemned him on the grounds that it would create one law for Muslims and another for the rest of the population. However, acknowledgement of religious belief has long been a feature of government policy. Sikhs are exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, there are many Catholic, Church of England, Jewish and now Muslim schools, Catholic doctors can refuse to carry out abortions. Many of the Archbishop’s critics opposed to the recognition of sharia law were the same people who supported the campaign of Catholic adoption agencies to refuse placing children with same sex couples. Thus their views were not based on consistent principles but rather their own cultural or religious perspective.
If we want to encourage a genuinely pluralistic society then logic suggests that sharia law should be allowed if this is what the majority of Muslims want to see happen in their community. However, this would be ultimately destructive of a shared national identity. This is a fix which liberals have brought on themselves (and the rest of us) by their blind encouragement of open-ended mass third world immigration. The law of cause and effect will soon allow us to reap the whirlwind on this.