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What is at stake in the row occasioned by Rowan Williams' Sharia musings is the possibility of reasoned discourse and a serious consideration of Islam in Europe, says Catholic scholar Tina Beattie.
A recent report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (co-authored with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights) has highlighted continuing problems around apostasy and civil rights in Egypt.
In a largely secular Britain faith is again a hot topic. Its political dimensions have attracted considerable attention but there has been relatively little about its legal implications.