Sharia in Britain 1

(This post, like the one immediately below, Europe’s doom, takes up a point made in the comments on the video Getting nowhere. )

Sharia has been accepted in Britain as a parallel legal system. Here is a report from the Times (London) which seems adequately to establish the fact:

Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Britain has cruelly betrayed Muslim women and children by allowing sharia rulings to be enforced. Here are extracts from an article by Maryam Namazie in the (left leaning) Guardian, explaining some of the ways women are unjustly treated in sharia courts, and pleading for a single system of secular law.

A report, Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights, reveals the adverse effect of sharia courts on family law. Under sharia’s civil code, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. A man can divorce his wife by repudiation, whereas a woman must give justifications, some of which are difficult to prove. Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age; women who remarry lose custody of their children even before then; and sons inherit twice the share of daughters.

There has been much controversy about Muslim arbitration tribunals, which have attracted attention because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act, making their rulings binding in UK law. …

An example of the kind of decision that is contrary to UK law and public policy is the custody of children. Under British law, the child’s best interest is the court’s paramount consideration. In a sharia court the custody of children reverts to the father at a preset age regardless of the circumstances. In divorce proceedings, too, civil law takes into account the merits of the case and divides assets based on the needs and intentions of both parties. Under sharia law, only men have the right to unilateral divorce. If a woman manages to obtain a divorce without her husband’s consent, she will lose the sum of money (or dowry) that was agreed to at the time of marriage.

There is an assumption that those who attend sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged. Since much of sharia law is contrary to British law and public policy, in theory they would be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions and may lack knowledge of their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a sharia court could lead to to threats, intimidation or isolation.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no religious courts.

Read here and here about sharia spreading in Europe , Canada and the United States..

Finally, listen to Pat Condell, eloquent and just, deploring the Archbishop of Canterbury’s pronouncement that the acceptance of sharia is “unavoidable”:

  • CEM

    It is simply a matter of time before the same happens in the USA.