UK’s first official sharia courts

This news is published here with regret; and, to express concern for the well being of British Muslim women and families.

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with shariah courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases, The Sunday Times reported.

According to the paper, the British government has ‘quietly sanctioned’ shariah judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five shariah courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, the paper reported.

The report said that shariah courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sheikh Faizul Aqtab Siddiqui, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, was quoted by the paper as saying he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

Under the act, the shariah courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, if both parties agree to give them authority to rule on their case.

Siddiqui said to the paper, “We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts…allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals.”

Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark the beginnings of a ‘parallel legal system’.

Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Home Secretary, said, “If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so.”

2 thoughts on “UK’s first official sharia courts

  1. Pingback: Religion-based Crimes in Pakistan « Uddari Weblog

  2. UK Judicial system must not limit the implementation of Sharia Law to Muslim Citizen in their country. The whole package of Sharia Jurisprudence cannot be selective legal system or partially deliverance in all of its application. Western Laws or the Law of the land is applicable to all without exemption. The same argument Sharia Law is applicable to the Muslim without exemption too….

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