Islamic law has been ushered into Britain by the back door. Ministers have quietly given Sharia courts power to rule on Muslim civil cases. These range from divorce and financial disputes to domestic violence. But furious Tories said the step “pandered to Islamic extremists”. MP Philip Davies said: “There can be only one legal system – British law. This will lead to a segregated society.”
Powers of Sharia judges have been sanctioned at five courts in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwicks. Two more are planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh. If both parties in a dispute agree to abide by their rulings, they are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system.
Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, used a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996. It allows Sharia hearings to be classed as “arbitration tribunals”. But Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: “If these tribunals are passing binding decisions I would consider such action unlawful.”
And an editorial headed “One law for all” opines:
“Britain can have only one legal system. We thought the Government understood that. In February, Gordon Brown said: ‘Religious law should be subservient to British criminal and civil law.’
“Yet seven months later we learn that Islamic sharia law has been sneakily adopted into British law. In fact sharia ‘courts’ were already operating months before the Prime Minister’s statement. A clause in the 1996 Arbitration Act allows Muslim tribunals to make rulings in civil cases using sharia law, enforceable by British courts, if both sides agree.
“It means prejudice against women and leniency for violent husbands. We must not allow this parallel justice system. It is a major step down the dangerous path which sees Muslim communities living in isolation from the rest of Britain. Just the kind of segregation under which extremism thrives. The Government must plug this loophole.”
The Sun invites its readers to comment on its report. Needless to say, they respond with the usual load of semi-literate, bigoted garbage:
“What the hell is wrong with this country, why are our labour government pandering to the minority. If they want Sharia Law then please do us all a favour and go and live in a majority muslim country. I am sick of these people comming here and forcing their laws on us….”
“First, this lousy unwanted government gave all our soverign powers away to europe (a feat that hitler was unable to achieve) now they have handed over the law to another unelected, unwanted rbble. Its time to fight back.”
“The pro-labour zealots have labelled us all racists and scaremongers, eyt here it is…sharia law by the back door.”
“Thats how this government of traitors works…by stealth…they need to be removed by force if not by the vote.”
Update: See also “Sharia Law in the UK – Now it’s Official” on the BNP website.