London, Feb.13 : Queen Elizabeth, who is the head of the Church of England, has reportedly expressed anguish, distress and dismay over the Islamic law controversy ,which she fears threatens to undermine the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England. hile the Archbishop, Dr. Rowan Williams has refused to apologise to the General Synod for recommending the incorporation of some aspects of Sharia law into the British legal system, saying such a move is unavoidable in the long-term, the Queen has said that she is dismayed by the recent developments.
The Queen, a royal source said, has not expressed any view on Dr.Williams statements, but the view among courtiers is that the issue has not been handled skillfully, and could led to a possible schism within the Church and between its followers.
According to The Telegraph, the Queen takes her role as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England very seriously.
The Prince of Wales, Charles, has stayed out of the controversy, but as a future King, he is known to be concerned at the decline in attendance at the Church of England and at the number of churches that are being closed down.
Speaking on Monday to the General Synod, Dr Williams refused to apologise for his remarks.
He failed to quell all the dissent which arose after he claimed that Britain had to "face up to the fact" that some citizens did not relate to this country's legal system and argued that officially sanctioning sharia law would improve community relations.
Senior Church figures, Muslim MPs and even the equality watchdog condemned his remarks. The criticisms were led by Lord Carey, his predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester - the Church's only Asian bishop - and some Muslim Labour MPs.
The Archbishop also faced repeated calls for his resignation after claims from within the Church that confidence in him had "plummeted".
Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, said the Archbishop's thinking was "muddled".
The Labour MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood, urged Dr Williams to step down.
Sharia is the body of Islamic law implemented in some Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Libya and Sudan. In some, it is associated with draconian punishments for crimes such as adultery or blasphemy.The concern over the standing of the Archbishop was underlined by the intervention of Downing Street this week.
Gordon Brown telephoned Dr Williams to give his support. The Prime Minister's spokesman later described him as "a man of great integrity".