1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT
28th December 2003
Your criticisms (�An Unworthy Bishop�, Sunday Telegraph, 28th December 2003) of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, were misplaced, uninformed and ill-mannered. You seem to think that spiritual guidance should not relate to matters of this world.
In warning of the dangers of the credit explosion, the Archbishop was reminding us of a longstanding biblical lesson that debt should be avoided as far as possible. In the monotheistic faiths, usury has always been forbidden as its practice seeks to exploit the misfortunes of others by piling on even more debt on their shoulders. Today�s widespread charging of usury is hardly a formula for greater social cohesion and is clearly exploitative. The Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, Matt Barrett, recently admitted as much, when he revealed that he had advised his own four children to steer well clear of credit cards.
You question the Archbishop�s concern for the hundreds of Muslims who are being held without trial at Guantanamo Bay saying that, �does Dr Williams really suggest that humanity would better be served by refusing to imprison those who, given the chance, would delight in making a nuclear attack on a Western city?� Yet, these men, many of whom have now been caged and denied their liberty for over two years now, have not been charged with any crime, let alone convicted of planning nuclear attacks. Does the Sunday Telegraph believe that the due process of law should be afforded to all, except Muslims?
Finally, you ridicule the Archbishop�s recent pronouncements as having �echoed Edward Lear rather than Alfred Lord Tennyson�. One would have expected a little more humility from a paper which ran a front page splash on 23rd March 2003 confidently informing its readers that Saddam Hussein had been so badly injured in a US Air Strike that he had needed blood transfusions.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain