The UK and Sharia Law

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SHAFAQNA – The Express UK published a news report this Friday in which readers are warned against the threat posed by Sharia court, and the alleged judicial take-over Muslims ambition to manifest in the UK.

While such warnings have evidently been blown out of proportion – very much in line with corporate media’s agreed narrative on Islam, the existence of Sharia Courts, and the potential judicial overlapping, and/or conflict of interests they could represent should not be neglected either.

Unknown to most, Sharia Courts in the UK follow Sunni jurisprudence, often with a strong inclination towards Salafism/Wahhabism. Such connections to Wahhabism, the very ideology which inspired the likes of al-Qaeda and Daesh (aka ISIL) have been a source of concerns for the broader Muslims community, as it has fed into a narrative of radicalization and Wahhabist fundamentalism.

“Around 85 Sharia courts are thought to exist in Britain and the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill, first introduced by Baroness Caroline Cox, which has already been passed in the Lords, will also force them to stop discriminating against women,” wrote the Express.

“The bill comes amid growing concern over the way Sharia courts are being used by many in the Muslim community as an alternative legal system in Britain and how they are systematically discriminating against women in civil cases such as divorce,” it continued.

Baroness Cox makes a valid point here since Wahhabism does in fact discriminate against women, often in absolute defiance to the Holy Scriptures! If Wahhabis claim to follow Islam perfectly, the reality of their actions says otherwise.

Islam does not call for the oppression of women – rather it offers, and guarantees their rights, while enouncing their responsibilities. Islam does not view women as lesser individuals – rather they are the very foundation upon which communities are born from.

Islam offer women judicial protection in marriage, divorce, celibacy, life, death, poverty, wealth, motherhood, sisterhood, work …. there is no aspect of life and death Islam does not provision for, or offer guidance for.

And while many … too many have chosen not to see, blame falls not on Islam, but those whose hearts have remained blind.

Baroness Cox stressed: “While the Bill respects the fundamental principle of freedom of religion and belief, we cannot allow rulings which are incompatible with the laws, values, principles and policies of our country.”

The legislation comes before MPs in a week where International Women’s Day has been marked.

There are serious concerns over the way Sharia Courts are making rulings on marriage law and divorce with Muslims but not having any legal status.

Despite having no legal status they are also providing families with official marriage and divorce certificates.

It is also understood that the all-male courts are rigged against women fuelled by “a toxic mix of religious fundamentalism, culture and tight-knit communities” according to a book published last year.

Writer and researcher Machteld Zee, a Dutch academic, said: “Sharia councils uphold the theory and practice of the strong hold men have over women.”

While it may true among certain circles, I would caution against generalization.

The great majority of Muslims understand, and respect British Law – as they should since Muslims have always been called to confirm to the judicial and legal system their nations follow as not to generate unrest and tensions.

If Sharia Courts have over-stepped their authority, or in fact failed to act justly, the real problem lies not with their existence, but the school of Islamic jurisprudence behind them.

“Justice is the base that supports the whole world.” Imam Ali

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