‘The adoption of sharia in Britain sets a worrying precedent’

Sunday Telegraph readers respond to last week’s misleading scare story about the Law Society’s advice to solicitors drawing up wills in accordance with the wishes of their Muslim clients. Some examples of their comments:

“Previous immigrants to this country (Huguenots, Jews, West Indians, etc.) have enjoyed the freedom to practise their own religion but have also had to accept our laws.”

“So keen are some people to pander to ‘inclusiveness’ that they are willing to throw overboard Magna Carta and the 800 years it took to enshrine the principle of one law for all.”

“This is this the slow drip of the tap – the erosion of the British way of life by the minority.”

“Muslims are a minority in Britain, and their views should not be allowed to impinge on the majority. This favouritism should be stamped out.”

“It is time we stopped being afraid of upholding our hard-won democratic values for fear of offending newcomers.”

To be fair, there are two letters from rather better informed correspondents:

“It is enshrined in English law that you may leave your estate to anyone you like. If you choose to divide it between your favourite nephew and a cats’ home, then that is your right. The exception is when you have a title, and that may only be passed to your eldest son. Can someone explain to me why it is any different to leave your estate in line with your religious beliefs? I strongly dislike much of sharia, but if there is an unqualified British right that one may dispose of one’s estate as one wishes, then everyone is entitled to that right.”

“What the Law Society has done is just remind solicitors that care needs to be taken in writing a sharia-compliant will and it has given an outline of how to do it. If a sharia-compliant will is not drafted correctly, an estate may pay a larger amount of inheritance tax than need be, because full use of the spouse’s exemption has not been made. The Law Society is not suggesting that solicitors do anything against UK law (or introduce sharia to UK law).”