Sunni Islam's highest body -- the Al-Azhar university in Cairo -- on Saturday welcomed the conclusion of the head of the Anglican Church that the adoption of some elements of Islamic law in Britain was "unavoidable."
"The comments of Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, are a move in the right direction and will have a positive impact in Muslim countries," Sheikh Abdel Fattah Allam, the assistant head of the Al-Azhar imam told Egyptian news agency MENA.
According to Allam, the words of the archbishop, which caused uproar in Britain, "encouraged dialogue between cultures and civilizations in a framework of mutual respect of religions."
"Al-Azhar welcomes anything that is likely to support the peaceful coexistence between different beliefs," he said, adding, "People must respect the faith and feelings of others."
Williams hit back on Friday at critics who called for him to quit after the comments in which he acknowledged that the adoption of some parts of Sharia law alongside Britain's legal system "seems unavoidable" in certain circumstances.
His office sought to clarify the remarks saying he made no proposals for the introduction of Sharia as a parallel jurisdiction to British civil law.
It said he felt that as a matter of fact certain provisions of Sharia were already recognized in society and by the law.