I think the idea of Sharia courts in the UK is abominable. I think it would be a good idea to remove all legal recognition of christian and jewish courts as well to ensure that these religious cults are not ever allowed to influence the legal system
There is one rule for everybody and that is all to be said.
The real victims will be muslim women, many who do not know their rights, or do not know how to get access to help. The idea that Sharia law is a ‘choice’, as is sometimes suggested, is laughable. Do you think a muslim woman would refuse the Imam’s advice to settle it through a religious court? Stop this nonsense right now.
As far as I’m concerned, any ethnic or religious group should follow the civil laws of the UK, period. There is only one law, British law. No other system should be used an an alternate legal system for redress of grievances. If they don’t like it, let them go live in a society that supports their antiquated, backwards thinking, oppressive laws. Why do such people choose to live in the west yet don’t want to live under a western judiciary is beyond me. Under sharia law, polygamy is allowed. How does the British judiciary view that I wonder?
But the point is that there are *already* “Shari’a courts” operating in Britain. Not stoning people in the marketplace or demanding amputations, but settling civil suits and arbitrating disputes within families and between neighbours. They operate within the majority system, not as an alternative to it. I don’t think this is any more shocking than the existence of Islamic banking societies.
I agree that the powers of such courts do have to be limited, but surely the best way to do so is to acknowledge and legislate their place, rather than pretending they don’t exist? “One rule for everybody” is a fine slogan, but reality is always more complicated than this (surely ‘marriage is a union between a man and a woman’ is a fine ‘rule for everybody!’). We need to put aside ill-informed stereotypes of what constitutes Shari’a, and to ask serious questions about how much autonomy Muslim communities should be granted in their affairs, and how this can best promote what is now usually called “community cohesion”.
This is barking mad! All this hiving-off of what should be inclusive, secular, public services & get-out clauses & taxpayer funding for what are, after all, sectarian, self-interested organizations promotes the DIS-integration of our society – not it’s integration, or ‘cohesion’. It’s a slow cultural suicide.
We in Western European democracies desperately need to recover some historical sense of WHY secular, liberal democracy was, and IS, so necessary.
I should add, I think Sadiq Khan is an eminently sensible & courageous man for his response.
I have never had any sympathy with uk people that go abroad and break other countires laws, even if it means 10 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. That is thier law and if you go into their counrty you have to abide by it. But on the other hand our law is OUR law, and if you dont like it , no matter what relgion , you have the choice to leave. I embrace fully people coming into this counrty, I embrace diversity, but not when it comes to our laws. Even though I dont agree with some of them myself. If a muslim has a problem with a neighbour then we have OUR laws in place to deal with this issue.
danger – one civil uk law is more than enough and it protect us all