Britain launches review into Sharia courts

27.05.2016

The British government on Thursday said it had launched an independent review into possible discriminatory practices against women in informal courts using Sharia law in England and Wales.

"A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils and that is a significant concern," Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement. "There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen."

The government will investigate whether some Sharia councils seek to legitimise forced marriage and issue divorces that are unfair to women.

British media reported there are an estimated 30 Sharia councils in Britain, giving Islamic divorce certificates and advice on other aspects of religious law.

The review is part of the government's counter-extremism strategy launched last year. The review will be chaired by Islamic studies expert Mona Siddiqui who will lead a panel of academic and religious experts and "will help us better understand whether and the extent to which law is being misused or exploited and make recommendations to the government on how to address this," May said.

Siddiqui said: "At a time when there is so much focus on Muslims in the UK, this will be a wide-ranging, timely and thorough review as to what actually happens in councils."    (AFP)

Related articles on Qantara.de:

Book review: Sadakat Kadri's "Heaven on Earth": What is justice?

Islam and the modern age: Moving beyond dogmatic doctrine

Interview with Mouhanad Khorchide: ''God is not a dictator''

In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: Qantara.de reserves the right to edit or delete comments or not to publish them. This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English. Comments submitted by readers using fantasy names or intentionally false names will not be published. Qantara.de will not provide information on the telephone. Readers' comments can be found by Google and other search engines.