Inayat Bunglawala has rightly criticised the head of the UK Islamic Shariah Council, Shaykh Abu Sayeed, who in an interview on The Somosa website has stated that it is “not Islamic” to classify non-consensual marital sex as rape and prosecute offenders.
Inayat wrote: “Shaykh Abu Sayeed’s comments are woefully misguided and will also be a gift to the likes of the Daily Mail and others who love to incite mischief by portraying the Islamic Shariah Council as being in the vanguard of slyly ‘Islamising’ the UK.”
And, sure enough, we find an editorial in the Daily Express which does just that:
“The views of Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed about rape in marriage show why sharia law must never be allowed to take a grip in Britain…. Perhaps this outburst will destroy once and for all the foolish notion that opposition to the creeping islamification of Britain can only be motivated by bigotry and prejudice. This nation’s shared values, including belief in gender equality and the right to self-determination, are under threat.”
From which you might be led to conclude that the nation’s “shared values” have always included the principle of prosecuting on a rape charge any husband who subjects his wife to non-consensual sex. In fact an interpretation of the law dating from 1736 which provided the basis for an exemption for marital rape wasn’t overturned until a House of Lords ruling in 1991.