In a week when we hear that the German government has opened the legal door to polygamy to accommodate the sensibilities of the influx of Muslim migrants (regardless of the impact on women’s rights) we must not forget the UK’s own problem with Sharia.
The UK has a problem with a parallel legal system, Sharia, developing alongside English law and appears unwilling and unable to address it regardless of the cost to the victims of Sharia. This fact is well documented in the review commissioned by the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and in the resulting report published in February 2018.
The review panel was chaired by a Muslim theologian, two of the four-person panel members (including the chair) were Muslims and the named advisors to the panel were both Muslims. If the report was commissioned as stated to “…understanding whether, and the extent to which, sharia law is being misused or applied in a way that is incompatible with the law…” then the makeup of the panel is intriguing (bonkers).
Before the review started concerns were raised about: the terms of reference for the review; that there was no voice on the panel for the victims of Sharia; that Imam’s (advocates of Sharia) cannot sensibly investigate themselves – something that is obvious to most of us; that there were many issues that should be looked at including: women’s testimony being worth half that of a man’s, marital rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse, the age of consent, guardianship, forced marriage, honour based violence, ritual abuse, child custody and child protection, polygamy, divorce, sexuality, inter-religious relationships, female dress codes and abortion.
These concerns and protests were not being raised by an uniformed, anti- Islamic lunatic fringe, they were being raised by 57 UK based women’s rights organisations; 45 individual women’s rights activists; 86 international organisations from countries across the world including Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tunisia. People from these countries, where Sharia can be found in all its glory, must surely have a valuable perspective.
As you might expect, our incompetent Government ignored the informed concerns being raised and continued with the panel and terms of reference unchanged.
The review concluded that they have no idea how many Sharia Councils/Courts are operating in the UK; cultural change is required ‘to recognise women’s rights’; that these courts need to be told that ruling on financial settlements and child related matters is at odds with English Law and (wait for it) that banning them is ‘not a viable option’! (why not?). In its wisdom, the review then recommends that a process is set up for Sharia courts to regulate themselves – genius!
It is perhaps little surprise then that the UK Government has been sanctioned by the Council of Europe as recently as January 2019, calling on the Home Office to act on Sharia (Resolution 2253).
Don’t hold your breath.
Following on from the dominance of Nigel Farage and a hapless trinity of incompetent ‘lead…