Archive for the ‘Sharia courts’ category

Islamic Rules in Danish Schools

September 18, 2017

Islamic Rules in Danish Schools, Gatestone Institute, Judith Bergman, September 18, 2017

The Nord-Vest Private School in Copenhagen, came under investigation by Danish authorities during an unannounced visit after teaching materials were found extolling and encouraging young people to commit jihad. Luqman Pedersen, a Danish convert to Islam, admitted to the authorities that the school wishes to create a parallel Muslim society.

Two former teachers at the Nord-Vest school described how the children at the school spoke of Danes in terms of “them and us”. In a school poetry contest, several of the children composed poems that detailed their wish to beat up and break the legs and hands of the “Danish pigs”.

“I teach religion, but I was not allowed to teach Christianity. Instead, a visiting imam from Iraq taught Christianity… I could imagine that some of the boys I taught could have been radicalized,” a teacher said. The teachers tried to alert both politicians and authorities to some of the problems they had witnessed, but no one would listen.

Some Muslim schools in Denmark appear to be employing anti-Semitic teachers, enforcing gender inequality, employing violence against students, offering poor education in general, and teaching jihad.

There are 26 Muslim schools in Denmark. While they operate independently of the public schools, the state sponsors them heavily — as it does other independent schools in Denmark — covering 75 % of their budget. The demand for Muslim schools in Denmark has grown in the last decade, as Muslim schools have increased their number of pupils by almost 50% since 2007; they now cater to almost 5,000 pupils. (It is unknown, however, how many Muslim children learn in the so-called “Koran schools,” where Islam and Arabic are taught after school to those children who do not attend a Muslim day school. Koran schools — as revealed in the Danish TV documentary “Sharia in Denmark“) — are not under any supervision from state or municipal authorities).

Danish educational authorities are currently investigating seven Muslim schools for failing to follow the laws of independent schools, including the requirement that they prepare the students for life in Danish society, and teaching them about democracy and gender equality. That amounts to more than one quarter of all Muslim schools. The first Muslim school opened in Denmark in 1980. Nearly forty years later, Danish politicians appear to be only beginning to comprehend or take seriously the challenges that several of these schools present to Danish society.

Danish news outlets exposed some of those challenges this summer:

The school leader at Al Quds School in Copenhagen, Waleed Houji, posted anti-Semitic images from the Muslim terrorist organization Hamas on his Facebook profile. A class teacher at that same school, Naji Dyndgaard, a convert, wrote anti-Semitic posts on Facebook.

Another school, the Iqra School, is being investigated by Danish school authorities for not preparing children to become part of Danish society. The school’s former deputy leader, imam Shahid Mehdi, ran a website telling Muslims not to have non-Muslim friends. The school also toldits students that having a boyfriend or girlfriend was forbidden.

The Nord-Vest Private School in Copenhagen came under investigation by Danish authorities during an unannounced visit after teaching materials were found extolling jihad and encouragingyoung people to wage it.

The school is also being investigated for the sale of its buildings to Ali Laibi Jabbar in December 2016 — Jabbar is a leading member of the Almuntadar Muslim association in Malmö, Sweden, which is a part of Iranian Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s organization, the Imam Ali foundation. Jabbar claims he only bought the buildings for investment purposes. At the beginning of September, the former leader of the school, Luqman Pedersen, a Danish convert to Islam, admitted to the authorities that the school wishes to create a parallel Muslim society; he also told them that the plan of the new buyer is to transform the buildings into an Islamic cultural center, which would include the school.

Two former teachers at the Nord-Vest school, Henriette Baden Hesselmann and Gitte Luttinen Ørnkow, described how the children at the school spoke of Danes in terms of “them and us”. In a school poetry contest in 2008, several of the children composed poems that detailed their wish to beat up and break the legs and hands of the “Danish pigs”. The former teachers described a school culture of intimidation and violence, with the head of the school board yelling at the students in Arabic and beating them. The former teachers added that all their students admitted that they were also beaten at home. The Jew-hatred was unmistakable, as the geography teacher discovered when he almost had to give up teaching a lesson about Israel due to the students’ hostility. Another teacher was told not to draw stars in the children’s books as a way of showing the children that they had done well, since the star was reminiscent of the Star of David. The girls were not allowed to participate in swimming lessons, sports, or music lessons.

One of the former teachers said:

“In general, large portions of the teaching were censored. I teach religion, but I was not allowed to teach Christianity. Instead, a visiting imam from Iraq taught Christianity… I could imagine that some of the boys I taught could have been radicalized.”

The teachers tried to alert both politicians and authorities to some of the problems they had witnessed, but no one would listen.

Following these revelations, several Danish opposition parties, including the Social Democrats, now wish to outlaw Muslim schools completely. According to Mette Frederiksen, leader of the Social Democratic party:

“…it’s not a good idea with Muslim schools. When you are a child in Denmark, it is incredibly important that you grow up in Danish culture and Danish everyday life. No matter how you spin it, an independent school based on Islam is not part of the majority culture in Denmark… Nor do I like the lack of equality in schools and these very hateful words against our Jewish minorities. It emphasizes that we have parallel societies.”

The government, however, is not enthusiastic; it says it fears that closing the schools would be unconstitutional and contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mette Frederiksen, leader of Denmark’s Social Democratic party, says “When you are a child in Denmark, it is incredibly important that you grow up in Danish culture and Danish everyday life… an independent school based on Islam is not part of the majority culture in Denmark… Nor do I like the lack of equality in schools and these very hateful words against our Jewish minorities.” (Image source: News Oresund/Flickr)

 

Sharia Councils and Sexual Abuse in Britain

April 14, 2017

Sharia Councils and Sexual Abuse in Britain, Gatestone Institute, Khadija Khan, April 14, 2017

As bad as this is, there is an even darker side to the story: Under sharia law, the second husband is under no obligation to give his wife a quick divorce – allowing him to keep her as his virtual sex slave for as long as he wishes.

If one asks how all of this jibes with British law, the answer is that it does not.

The UK-based NGO, Muslim Women’s Network, penned an open letter — with 100 signatories — to the British government and Home Affairs Select Committee demanding that the Sharia Council be investigated to determine whether its practices adhere to British law. In response, the Sharia Council declared the letter to be “Islamophobic” and accused the Muslim Women’s Network of being an anti-Muslim organization.

It is British law, not sharia, law that protects Muslim individuals and couples, as it does any other citizen. Contrary to what apologists for this travesty say, the plight of Muslim women should be treated as an issue of human rights.

 

The most recent scandal surrounding the sexual exploitation of Muslim women by Islamic religious leaders in the UK is yet further proof of the way in which Britain is turning a blind eye to horrific practices going on right under its nose.

A BBC investigation into “halala” — a ritual enabling a divorced Muslim woman to remarry her husband by first wedding someone else, consummating the union, and then being divorced by him — revealed that imams in Britain are not only encouraging this, but profiting financially from it. This depravity has led to many such women being held hostage, literally and figuratively, to men paid to become their second husbands.

This ritual, which is considered a misinterpretation of Islamic sharia law even by extremist Shi’ites and Saudi-style Salafists, is practiced by certain Islamic sects, such as Hanafis, Barelvis and Deobandis. When a husband repeats the Arabic word for divorce — talaq — three times to his wife, these sects consider a Muslim marriage null and void. For such a woman to be allowed to return to the husband who banished her, she must first marry someone else — and have sex with him — before the second husband divorces her.

These divorce rites, despite the laws of the land, are common in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Asian countries, where a majority of the people belong to the Hanafi, Barelvi or Deobandi sects. Nevertheless, local seminaries, mosques and online services openly advertise and promote halala with impunity; it is accepted by society and rarely monitored by state authorities.

In Britain, halala has emerged as a booming business, with websites and social media sites offering to provide women with second husbands for exorbitant sums of money. As bad as this is, there is an even darker side to the story: Under sharia law, the second husband is under no obligation to give his wife a quick divorce — allowing him to keep her as his virtual sex slave for as long as he wishes.

One Muslim woman, who changed her mind about going through with halala after looking into the process, told the BBC that she knew others who did undergo the process, and ended up being sexually abused for months by the second husbands paid to marry them. According to a report in The Guardian, the Sharia Council of Britain says it deals with hundreds of divorce cases annually.

This infamous council is indirectly responsible for what essentially has become a rape pandemic, since it does nothing to stop or refute halala. In fact, it declares that the practice is completely legal under sharia law. The only caveat, the council states, is that the imams presiding over it are not following the proper guidelines, according to which the second marriage and divorce should not be premeditated, but rather happen naturally.

If one asks how all of this jibes with British law, the answer is that it does not. But young Muslims in the UK are discouraged by their communities from marrying through the British system, and are told to have imams perform their weddings and sharia councils register their marriages. Couples who comply end up being at the mercy of Islamic authorities in family matters, including divorce.

Due to its often unethical practices conducted in the name of religious law, the Sharia Council has come under scrutiny a number of times. Last November, for instance, the UK-based NGO, Muslim Women’s Network, penned an open letter — with 100 signatories — to the British government and Home Affairs Select Committee demanding that the Sharia Council be investigated to determine whether its practices adhere to British law.

In response, the Sharia Council declared the letter to be “Islamophobic” and accused the Muslim Women’s Network of being an anti-Muslim organization. In addition, Labour MP Naz Shah jumped to the defense of the Sharia Council, rejecting the idea of an inquiry, on the grounds that shutting down such councils could mean that more women would be stuck in abusive marriages.

While acknowledging that these councils could be used as a tool to deny women their rights, Shah said that they also serve as valuable arbitrators in marital disputes.

Her claims are totally baseless. It is British law, not sharia, law that protects Muslim individuals and couples, as it does any other citizen.

Haitham al-Haddad is a British shari’a council judge, and sits on the board of advisors for the Islamic Sharia Council. Regarding the handling of domestic violence cases, he stated in an interview, “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them. Leave them alone. They can sort their matters among themselves.” (Image source: Channel 4 News video screenshot)

Had the British government addressed Sharia Council malpractice when it was first revealed, we would not be facing this pandemic today. Contrary to what apologists for this travesty say, the plight of Muslim women should be treated as an issue of human rights.

It is time for the British government to wake up and take a tough stand on such unethical, and probably illegal, system. And the sooner the better, lest the whole sharia council system go “underground” and out of reach to protect thousands of women from abuse.

Why the UK’s Sharia Courts Should Be Banned

December 20, 2016

Why the UK’s Sharia Courts Should Be Banned, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, December 20, 2016

(Please see also, Sharia Councils: Taking Liberties. – DM)

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They are married off at 15 to men they’ve never met, men who may beat and rape them, or who do not permit them to leave the house. Or they marry out of love, only to learn their new husband has another wife, or plans to take one.  And so they seek counsel – and escape – not through lawyers and the traditional courts, but through sharia councils, and not in Kabul or Islamabad, but in Manchester and London.

Now officials in the United Kingdom are questioning whether such councils violate secular laws and discriminate against the women who come to them for help.  While still Home Secretary last March, before she became Prime Minister, Theresa May initiated the first of an ongoing series of investigations into Britain’s so-called “sharia courts.”

Subsequent hearings have brought the issues into the public eye, but so far they have failed to provide any real resolution. Some sharia court opponents contend that they force women to remain in abusive marriages, or deprive them of their legal rights regarding division of property and other matters. In contrast, some proponents insist that too many Muslim women would be forced to stay in abusive relationships if these tribunals were shut down.

“If I went to an English court, [my ex-husband] would say ‘where is their right to decide about my life?'” one Muslim woman told the BBC. “Now he can’t say anything because the decision has been made using sharia law, and we all believe in that.”

Moreover, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of British Muslim marriages are religious, not civil – a fact which in itself deprives these wives of many of their legal marital rights. Such marriages can be dissolved only through the tribunals.

But opponents, such as Iranian-born activist Maryam Namazie, argue that the tribunals, “are linked to the rise of the Islamist movement.” Others echo her views, such as Women and Sharia Law author and Zurich University Professor Elham Manea, who claims that the first such councils were established by Islamist groups.

There is some validity to this claim: the first British sharia council was established in 1982 by the Islamic Sharia Council, a Luton-based organization currently led by controversial imam Suhaib Hasan. Among Hasan’s many claims to fame are his lectures, available on YouTube, which he says “expose” the Jewish conspiracy to destroy Christians.

Moreover, while the official count of the councils in the UK is set at 32, think tank Civitas has estimated the real number at 85, suggesting that many operate in the shadows. How conservative or how westernized they may be in their mediations is impossible to know. Of the councils that are officially recognized, most are affiliated with mosques. Others hold connections to the Islamic Sharia Council, which also offers counseling “in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and authentic sunnah,” and “anger management” sessions that teach clients to “deal with the situation in a way that is most pleasing to Allah.”

According to France 24, 90 percent of the cases before Britain’s sharia tribunals involve divorce. But Algerian activist Marieme Hellie Lucas told Namazie in an interview, “The ‘laws’ used by so called ‘sharia courts’ are not [even] religiously inspired. They are just the choice that fundamentalists implement between contradictory (even antagonistic) customs, mores, and conservative religious interpretations.”

In fact, Lucas says, “”fundamentalists are the ones who create, sometimes ex-nihilo [from nothing], the dilemma ‘faith vs. women’s rights,’ while many progressive theologians state that they see no contradiction.” Hence, Lucas maintains, allowing such tribunals comes down to favoring “the Muslim fundamentalist extreme-right agenda to the detriment of universal rights.”

Additionally, UK sharia expert Denis MacEoin has found many of the tribunals’ rulings “advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as they are applied by British courts.”

Women who have had experience with UK sharia tribunals echo concerns raised by MacEoin and Lucas.

For example, one widow told the Independent that subsequent to her husband’s death, her sons had insisted she sell her home and give the money to them. A sharia tribunal had evidently told them that “in English law, I own the house I live in, but this is not the way in Islam.” Despairing, she added, “what is this new Islam that can threaten to take the roof from the head of an old woman like me?”

And in a four-year investigation of British sharia councils, human rights activist Elham Manea “found clerics that ignored marital rape, condoned wife beating, and believed girls of 12 or 13 were old enough to marry,” the Independent reports.  No wonder, then, that MEP Baroness Sheela Flather, in written testimony to a Parliamentary panel investigating the tribunals, argued that laws that apply “to white people [should] apply to everyone. “It is racism,” she declared, if they do not.

Despite these facts, many continue to maintain that banning these tribunals could do as much harm as good. Rather, they advocate oversight and reform of the existing councils to ensure that they reflect and administer equal rights under secular laws. “Though some scholars argue that a civil divorce should count as an Islamic one, this hasn’t been widely accepted yet within the Muslim communities,” Muslim Women’s Network UK director Shaista Gohir told VICE news recently.

But herein lies the core of the problem. Indulging those who do not accept the authority of civil over religious law does nothing to help integrate those who espouse such beliefs. Instead, this approach extends a kind of exceptionalism to Muslims, especially fundamentalist Muslims, permitting them to exist outside of civil law, while lending support to radical beliefs that the laws of the land do not apply to them: only sharia does.

True, as Namazie has observed, “Abolishing Sharia courts and parallel legal systems will not solve all the problems at hand; criminalising FGM or domestic violence has not ended them either. It will however make very clear what is acceptable and what is not and will underline a commitment to gender equality.”

Which is why allowing the oppression of Muslim women in our communities to continue is not protecting Muslim rights, or even Muslim identity. Therefore, banning these sharia “courts” is necessary. If we do not demand equality for women and the respect for one secular, civil law in our society for all, who will?

Sharia Councils: Taking Liberties

December 19, 2016

Sharia Councils: Taking Liberties, Gatestone Institute, Robbie Travers, December 19, 2016

A report by Machteld Zee, a Dutch Academic raised the issue that sharia councils “frustrate women in their requests [for divorce], especially if the husband is unwilling to co-operate,” and she also suggested that women are treated as “second-class citizens.”

Sharia councils, however, can demand that the parties involved in a dispute sign contracts beforehand, demanding that women agree to the results of the arbitration. To force a woman, who has been denied rights to any legal representation, to agree to an illegal or wrongful contract before trial, is a travesty that the British justice system cannot allow to continue.

As Dr Taj Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation argues, “Sharia is not divine law, it is just medieval opinion.”

Is Britain really agreeing to allow women to be sentenced in England, then to be stoned to death elsewhere?

This ruling actually reveals to the husband the process required to have his wife stoned to death. It arguably even encouraging men to have their wives taken abroad and have them murdered. The court has therefore condemned someone to murder solely the words of her husband without allowing her a chance to speak.

How can these groups that not only fail to protect the rights of women but actually undermine them, be considered charitable organisations, funded by British taxpayers?

It is considered a fundamental principle in liberal democracies that individuals should have equality under the law, with equal access to justice, despite race, gender, or religious belief and that the same laws of a single legal system should apply equally to everyone.

To have two simultaneously functioning rules of law, applied on differing judicial bases, would create a challenge of which precedents to follow, or why individuals from different groups should be treated differently. How long before people form one group would claim to be from a different group to be exempt from the first group’s laws? Such a system invites abuse.

Dealing with minorities by differing legal systems rather than creating a more pluralist utopia simply leads to a divided society in which minorities and majorities have justified mutual distrust.

Sadly, these principles which have sculpted a strong judicial system in the United Kingdom for so long are now facing a significant threat.

In Britain, the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) recognises and protects women’s rights to equality, and not to be discriminated against in legal proceedings. But the rule of law in Britain is being eroded by the legitimisation of sharia councils. This has occurred under the Arbitration Act (1996), even though their operation in the Britain has been recorded since 1992.

There are valid reasons why sharia councils and sharia itself should not be given any legitimacy under British law.

First, these alternative judicial systems can mislead Muslim women to believe that sharia, and the fatwas pronounced by clerics, are binding and that such a marriage is recognised under UK law. In fact, it is estimated that 70-75% of all Islamic marriages in Britain are not recognized, according to the findings in the Dame Louise Casey report.

Islamic women also might be misled into believing that they have more marital rights than they actually have – a cruel deception that must end. And they further seem misled into believing they are compelled to approach a sharia council, rather than a UK civil court, for a divorce.

Second, these sharia councils often offer themselves as “an alternative,” to people seeking a civil law judgement, but the elders who hold the proceedings do not use juridical standards compatible with existing British legal ones. In cases arbitrated by sharia councils, as opposed to British law, for example, women lack the legal ability to initiate any divorce proceedings without the explicit agreement of her husband, and often women have no legal representation at these trials.

With little ability even to mount a legal defence, there is always the probability that Muslim women are not receiving equal justice under the law.

A report by Machteld Zee, a Dutch Academic raised the issue that sharia councils “frustrate women in their requests [for divorce], especially if the husband is unwilling to co-operate” and she also suggested that women are treated as “second-class citizens.”

sharia councils can also fundamentally attack the rights of women in arbitration, a device meant to be facilitate resolving issues. sharia councils, however, can demand that the parties involved in a dispute sign contracts beforehand, demanding that women agree to the results of the arbitration. To force a woman, who has been denied rights to any legal representation, to agree to an illegal or wrongful contract before trial, is a travesty that the British justice system cannot allow to continue.

Is it really acceptable that these sharia councils are granted authority under the Arbitration Act of 1996 when they treat women in such a way?

Dr Taj Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation argues, “Sharia is not divine law, it is just medieval opinion.”

The right of a woman to be free from abuse should be a paramount consideration. Therefore, a parallel legal system that declines to recognise the law of the land on the abuse of women is fundamentally incompatible with our legal system.

Third, which law? A trial can be considered just in terms of sharia law might well not be considered just under another form of law. Even if women are allowed to attend sharia councils in Britain, their submissions in sharia law are considered worth half of the submissions of a man — not exactly fair.

Fourth, a recent report compiled by Dame Louise Casey suggests that the growth of sharia councils in Britain have increased division and segregation in communities.

What if a woman wishes to appeal the verdict? There is no right to appeal. What if she feels there was irregularity or corruption in the process? As there exists no regulator, Muslim women seem trapped in a system the outcome of which they have to accept, even when there may not even be fleeting chance of justice.

Read this ruling from a British sharia council:

1) Adultery is one of the most heinous crimes in Islamic law, the punishment for which is death by stoning. But as Britain is not a Muslim state such a punishment may not be carried out here. This punishment can only be administered in a Muslim state after due process.

This is cause for concern. This ruling actually reveals to the husband the process required to have his wife stoned to death. It arguably even encouraging men to have their wives taken abroad and have them murdered.

Is Britain really agreeing to allow women to be sentenced in England then to be stoned to death elsewhere? The ruling should instead be considered incitement to violence and reckless endangerment.

The judgement continues to state that, “Allah will punish her for her immorality.” This presumes that the wife is guilty without even hearing her testimony. The court has therefore condemned someone to murder solely the words of her husband without allowing her a chance to speak. This sort of trial has no place in a modern democracy.

It is also hard to hold sharia councils accountable: they do not record their judgements, or transparently display a record of council rulings. Why would an organisation wish not to make its rulings publicly available unless it I trying to hide something?

If cases are arbitrated on any basis that that withhold full transparency or that promotes inequality for women, it is the duty of the state not only to criticise these trials, but to withdraw any legislation that gives these laws legitimacy.

Sharia councils have been known completely to disregard the decrees of civil British courts; some councils are even suggesting that women comply with abusive husbands. More dangerously, sharia councils have even made private statements, supposedly hidden by court decree, concerning individuals in abusive relationships, public. Sharia councils have put these statements on court documents and sent them to the abuser – a practice that has led to death threats, children kidnapped, and even to women being violently raped in retaliation for seeking justice.

1013-1Haitham al-Haddad is a British shari’a council judge, and sits on the board of advisors for the Islamic Sharia Council. Regarding the handling of domestic violence cases, he stated in an interview, “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them. Leave them alone. They can sort their matters among themselves.” (Image source: Channel 4 News video screenshot)

To add insult to injury, these unaccountable courts that offer judgements which sometimes incite violence and often disadvantage women, are often registered charities that charge around £800 for a divorce. How can these groups that not only fail to protect the rights of women but actually undermine them be considered charitable organisations, funded by British taxpayers?

Even more problematic is this excessive fee, when Islamic women often coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and who perhaps have been discouraged from earning a living outside the home and may therefore have no funds to buy her freedom? Muslim women within abusive marriages can therefore be imprisoned by a process that is unattainable. One might even deduce that perhaps that is the purpose of the fee?

Elham Manea, author of the book Women and Sharia Law, argues that the first Sharia councils were established by Islamists. She also notes that Sharia councils have “been working with a kind of a tacit approval of British establishment. There is a certain kind of hesitancy from British institutions to interfere in what they consider is internal affair to the Muslim community.”

We can no longer be afraid to speak out against a legal system that disadvantages women because of the religion of those who run it, or that criticism may be perceived as hateful.

More alarming is that views on Sharia amongst the UK Islamic community are favourable towards this judicial practice. Sharia is now even being promoted as a solution that should be considered by the British Government. In polls conducted for the Police Exchange: 43% said they supported “the introduction of Sharia Law.” And 16% of British Muslims “strongly support” the “introduction of aspects of Sharia law into Britain”

What aspects of the Sharia do they support? How you can support only “aspects” of Sharia, when Sharia is designed to be followed in its entirety, without concession. Even then, which aspects do they support? Those that instruct that “women are restricted in leaving their homes and driving cars”? Or that “a man may coerce his wife to have sex”? Or the “recommendation of severe punishments for homosexuals?”

48% of the respondents said they would not turn someone they know with links to terrorism in Syria over to the police.

As Denis MacEoin illustrates, Sharia even justifies jihad:

In Sharia Law or One Law for All, I drew attention to another level of sharia rulings that provide fatwas for numbers of British Muslims, in particular of the younger generation. These are online sites: “fatwa banks.” Individuals or couples send questions to the muftis who run the sites, and receive answers in the form of fatwas that are considered authoritative. The questions and answers are preserved in galleries of rulings, which can be browsed by anyone seeking advice. The sites are by no means consistent, differing from one scholar to another. But they do provide an insight into the kinds of rulings that may be given in the sharia councils.

Among the rulings MacEoin details is that “fighting the Americans and British is a religious duty.” Such a ruling, sadly, could be delivered on British soil.

Sharia councils and Sharia both clearly restrict the rights of women, homosexuals, Christians and Jews, and are therefore incompatible with a diverse and tolerant society. They should be granted no legitimacy by the state.

The cessation of Sharia councils in the UK is not Islamophobic, or an “attack on Islamic rights to freedom of expression or belief”. It is the defence of a just legal system that respects diversity but judges all equally. If we are to have a society in which all are equal, then all law must be derived from a single system that applies to all.

Shari’a Law Meets the Internet

December 8, 2016

Shari’a Law Meets the Internet, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, December 8, 2016

Shari’a councils should not have the right effectively to deny women rights they hold as British citizens under British law.

In the end, the biggest problem is that there is no system of external regulation for the councils. There is no legal requirement for them to keep full records of the cases they adjudicate on, no requirement to report to a civil authority with the right to prevent abuses, and not even a requirement for any council to register with a government agency.

The Muslim Brotherhood in the US itself listed the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) as one of several organizations who shared their goals, including the destruction of Western civilization and the conversion of the US into a Muslim nation.

The “minorities” jurisprudents generally favour a non-violent approach to the encounter of Islam and the West, while retaining a critical stance towards the latter and a conviction that Islam must, in the end, replace it. But on occasion, as in the Middle East, violence is sanctioned.

 

The UK has for several years faced problems with its growing number of shari’a councils (often misleadingly called courts). These councils operate outside British law, yet frequently give rulings on matters such as divorce, child custody, inheritance and more, which are based on Islamic law and in contradiction of the rights of individuals (usually women) under UK legislation. Many Muslim communities in cities such as Bradford, Birmingham, Luton, or boroughs such as Tower Hamlets in London are both sizeable and close-knit; individuals in them are made to live lives in accordance with Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Islamic traditional norms. This means that contact with British life at large is often restricted, with a lack of assimilation that traps many women and girls into lives very close to the lives of their sisters in Muslim countries.

Much of the concern about the “courts” has been expressed by Baroness Caroline Cox, whose bill to limit their impact on Muslim women has passed more than once through the House of Lords and, recently, into the House of Commons. Her personal determination and clear-sightedness have meant that the matter has remained for several years a focus for debate in politics and the media. Her arguments have received widespread support from women’s rights organizations, especially several concerned with the rights of Muslim women.

This year, in addition, two important academic studies of the issue have appeared. First was Machteld Zee’s “Choosing Sharia?: Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism & Sharia Councils,” which appeared in January. Zee is a Dutch political and legal scholar who carried out research in the UK, where she was given limited access to two shari’a councils, one in Birmingham and one in London. Her book devotes much time to the problems of what she calls “Essentialist Multiculturalism,” specifically the way multiculturalist theorists condemn individuals to be treated according to the culture and religion to which they belong, rather than as people who may wish to reject one or both of these.

An equally pertinent and academically sound treatise appeared in May: Elham Manea’s “Women and Shari’a Law: The Impact of Legal Pluralism in the UK.” Manea is of Yemeni origin; an Associate Professor in the Political Science Institute at the University of Zurich, a Fulbright Scholar, and a consultant for Swiss government agencies and international human rights organizations. Her book also focuses on the way in which multiculturalism undermines individual rights, especially in a chapter entitled, “A Critical Review of the Essentialist Paradigm.”

“Essentialists” demand that individuals conform to the cultural and legal norms of whatever community they are born into, and apparently prefer a multiculturalist vision of competing cultures and faith groups that maintain social distinctions. rather than mixed but well-integrated societies. The result is that restrictions are placed on the freedom of individuals to take their own path in life. In the instance of close-knit Muslim communities, the heaviest impact is on women. This involves forced and early marriage, first-cousin marriage, restriction of education for girls, rejection of appeals for divorce, denial of a woman’s right to child custody, and enforcement of the rule that women are only entitled to much lower inheritance payments than their brothers. It also means that women are limited in their freedom to work. In fundamentalist communities, their loss of that freedom means that they are forced to stay in the home to cook and look after children. This loss of freedom effectively destroys their opportunity to work (or be educated) alongside men. Women are often forbidden to adopt Western clothing norms even while living in open, Western societies. Shari’a “courts” have a deeply regressive influence on matters such as these.

Baroness Cox does not call for the abolition of the shari’a councils, given that Muslims have a right to turn to their own advisors for advice. But shari’a councils should not have the right effectively to deny women rights they hold as British citizens under British law. Many Muslim women are married purely under Islamic law and their marriages are not registered by civil registrars: this means that they can be denied their right to ask for a divorce or child custody from British courts. In the end, the biggest problem is that there is no system of external regulation for the councils. There is no legal requirement for them to keep full records of the cases they adjudicate on, no requirement to report to a civil authority with the right to prevent abuses, and not even a requirement for any council to register with a government agency — leading to the problem of how many councils exist in the country.

1013Haitham al-Haddad is a British shari’a council judge, and sits on the board of advisors for the Islamic Sharia Council. Regarding the handling of domestic violence cases, he stated in an interview, “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them. Leave them alone. They can sort their matters among themselves.” (Image source: Channel 4 News video screenshot)

If political reluctance to upset Muslims is not allowed to prevent Caroline Cox’s bill from becoming law, then there is hope that proper regulation will succeed the present chaos and irregularity that surround the councils as they are now operated. But even this may not be enough. Because of this absence of proper supervision, shari’a rulings impact British Muslims from three directions: through the shari’a councils, from the larger bodies to the informal “courts” that are reputed to operate from small terraced houses in Bradford, Birmingham and elsewhere; through the many online fatwa “banks” (websites) to which individuals refer themselves; and through the fatwas issued by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, based in Dublin.

These last two sources of shari’a rulings are usually ignored in studies of Islamic law in Britain, but they do, in fact, account for an undetermined number of responses to questions from individual Muslims in this country, and more formal diktats seen as binding across Europe, including the UK.

What I term “fatwa banks” are websites run either by individual muftis[1] or larger collective sites on an international scale. The sites I used in “Sharia Law or One Law for All” were Sunnipath, Ask Imam (answers from South Africa, but accessed through the Jamia Madina Mosque in Hyde), Madrasa In’aamiyyah, Darul Iftaa Leicester[2], IslamOnline.net[3], Ask the Scholar, Ask an Alim, Leicester, and the Islamic Shariah Council (Leyton in London).

Others operate out of other countries and in different languages, but can be accessed from the UK without difficulty. The most popular is IslamQ&A, which provides rulings in English and fifteen other languages. It is run from Saudi Arabia by the Salafi mufti Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, and is not only one of the most popular Salafi websites, but also, according to Alexa.com, the world’s most popular website on the topic of Islam generally. The impact of its fatwas worldwide cannot be exaggerated. It includes some rulings on jihad.[4] There is no space here to reproduce these in full, but here are a few in brief that show the extent to which shari’a rulings diverge from British laws and values.

  1. Waging jihad against Americans (and other enemies of Islam) is to be encouraged.
  2. Shari’a law takes priority over secular law.
  3. A husband may prohibit his wife from leaving the house.
  4. Shari’a law can override British courts.
  5. A Muslim lawyer should not always act in accordance with UK law where it contradicts shari’a.
  6. Polygamy is acceptable even if against the law.
  7. A man may divorce his wife but keep that a secret from her.
  8. Execution or severe beating for homosexuals is correct.
  9. A wife has no property rights in case of divorce.
  10. There is no requirement to register a marriage according to the law of the country one lives in.
  11. A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man.
  12. Insurance is forbidden even if required by law.
  13. Child marriage is justified.
  14. A husband is not obliged to support a childless wife.
  15. A husband has conjugal rights over his wife. “Both partners have the right to have their physical demands met.” The only difference is that the husband may demand this, while the wife cannot.
  16. Divorce does not require a witness.
  17. Taking out insurance is forbidden.
  18. Medical insurance schemes are forbidden.
  19. If being a police officer in West contradicts shari’a, it is forbidden.
  20. Beating one’s wife is permissible (unless it harshly done).
  21. The mere intention to divorce is sufficient to make it valid, regardless of what is said.

Many of the above rulings are shocking, and by no means all websites or British shari’a councils will endorse many of them. But there they are, freely available to Muslims everywhere. If a believer tends towards strict interpretations of the sacred texts or the laws, he or she may well gravitate to fatwa banks such as these, and may well act on their basis rather than on the judgements of the nearest shari’a council. After all, what real authority do the muftis on the councils have beyond that of the other, online muftis? Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, outranks pretty well all other contemporary Muslim authorities, with his TV show “Shari’a and Life” reaching an estimated 60 million viewers, and his learned essays promoting his personal views within the overall context of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most fundamentalist of today’s Islamic organizations.

Let us leave the British councils for a moment. There is another external source of fatwas. In many Muslim states, shari’a laws may be, and often are, imposed, often to the extent of punishing crimes from theft to murder. This means that matters that would not be crimes in Western states, such as adultery, blasphemy, or apostasy receive corporal punishments or the death penalty.

Knowing that there is no freedom in the West to criminalize these latter faults or to apply shari’a punishments for them, it became essential to come up with fatwas that would give authoritative guidance to Muslims in Western countries on how to conduct themselves in the “Land of War” (“Dar al Harb”, the opposite of the “Land of Islam”) while remaining shari’a-observant. The overall aim is to bring shari’a into Western societies by the back door. Even if Western governments like that of the UK were to find ways to register and control shari’a courts, or even abolish them, religious authorities could subvert this by presenting fatwas that would recommend certain behaviours for individuals and small communities.

The deliberations of the jurisprudents resulted in the need to adapt shari’a rulings to the situation of large-scale Muslim communities living outside enforceable Islamic jurisdictions. This endeavour has been termed Fiqh al-‘Aqalliyyat (“Jurisprudence of the minorities“). The purpose of this system — in which the classical system of Muslims ruling non-Muslims has been reversed — is to find a way to use shari’a without incurring the wrath of the indigenous legal system in secular parliamentary democracies. This has some resemblance to Muslim efforts during the colonial era to use shari’a in personal affairs in British and French colonies such as India or Algeria.

In its current form, the jurisprudence of the minorities dates back to the 1990s. It was developed by two individuals, the formerly mentioned Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the late Shaykh Dr. Taha Jabir al-Alwani of Virginia. Al-Qaradawi is, among other things, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a body founded in 2004 with its headquarters in the vastly wealthy Wahhabi state of Qatar. Its close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood have led to its designation by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization. It boasts a membership of at least 90,000 Islamically-qualified scholars from around the world, representing several different sectarian positions.

Al-Alwani (d. 2016) was the founder and former chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America(FCNA), whose 18 members issue religious rulings, resolve disputes, and answer questions relating to Islamic practice. Their declared purpose:

“To consider, from a Shari’ah perspective, and offer advice on specific undertakings, transactions, contracts, projects, or proposals, guaranteeing thereby that the dealings of North American Muslims fall within the parameters of what is permitted by the Shari’ah.”

The FCNA too has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which may, under a bill launched by Senator Ted Cruz, soon be designated by the US as a terrorist organization in its own right. The Muslim Brotherhood in the US itself listed the FCNA as one of several organizations who shared their goals, including the destruction of Western civilization and the conversion of the US into a Muslim nation.

The “minorities” jurisprudents generally favour a non-violent approach to the encounter of Islam and the West, while retaining a critical stance towards the latter and a conviction that Islam must, in the end, replace it. But on occasion, as in the Middle East, violence is sanctioned. When asked in an interview about Palestinian suicide bombings, al-Alwani responded, “We think that the Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves in the way they view as suitable and we will back it and support it.”[5]

That view was, until recently, shared by al-Qaradawi, who has supported terrorism, including suicide bombings.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is the author of Sharia Law or One Law for All as well as many academic books, reports, and hundreds of academic and popular articles about Islam in many dimensions. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


[1] A mufti (a religious scholar who issues fatwas) is a learned man specializing in Islamic law; he issues judgements on cases, determining what is compliant with his law school, but the sentencing is carried out by a judge (a qadi). Sometimes, the same person performs both functions.

[2] The Darul Iftaa in Leicester was founded and run by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, a graduate of the Deobandi Darul Uloom in Bury.

[3] This important site features a “Live Fatwa” session, where answers are given by Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains in Lubbock, Texas. Al-Shinqiti is a prominent figure in Fiqh al-‘Aqalliyyat.

[4] Examples of fatwas from the above sites (apart from Islam Q&A, which I did not consult at that time) may be found in “Sharia Law or One Law for All,” pages 74 to 127. Unwittingly, they provide insights into the topics to which British Muslims who speak English have access: not just the archives of fatwas that they maintain, but in order to ask questions themselves on matters from oral sex to male doctors seeing female patients.

[5] Cited Fishman p. 11 from the London Arabic newspaper, Al-Sharq al-Awsat.

Germany Submits to Sharia Law

December 1, 2016

Germany Submits to Sharia Law, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, December 1, 2016

A German court has ruled that seven Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech. The “politically correct” decision, which may be appealed, effectively authorizes the Sharia Police to continue enforcing Islamic law in Wuppertal.

The self-appointed “Sharia Police” distributed leaflets which established a “Sharia-controlled zone” in Wuppertal. The men urged both Muslim and non-Muslim passersby to attend mosques and to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, music, pornography and prostitution.

Critics say the cases — especially those in which German law has taken a back seat to Sharia law — reflect a dangerous encroachment of Islamic law into the German legal system.

In June 2013, a court in Hamm ruled that anyone who contracts marriage according to Islamic law in a Muslim country and later seeks a divorce in Germany must abide by the original terms established by Sharia law. The landmark ruling effectively legalized the Sharia practice of “triple-talaq,” obtaining a divorce by reciting the phrase “I divorce you” three times.

A growing number of Muslims in Germany are consciously bypassing German courts altogether and instead are adjudicating their disputes in informal Sharia courts, which are proliferating across the country.

“If the rule of law fails to establish its authority and demand respect for itself, then it can immediately declare its bankruptcy.” — Franz Solms-Laubach, Bild’sparliamentary correspondent.

A German court has ruled that seven Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech.

The ruling, which effectively legitimizes Sharia law in Germany, is one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are — wittingly or unwittingly — promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country.

The self-appointed “Sharia Police” sparked public outrage in September 2014, when they distributed yellow leaflets which established a “Sharia-controlled zone” in the Elberfeld district of Wuppertal. The men urged both Muslim and non-Muslim passersby to attend mosques and to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, music, pornography and prostitution.

1653-1A German court has ruled that a group of Islamists who formed a vigilante patrol to enforce Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech. They were charged under a law that prohibits the wearing of uniforms at public rallies — a law originally designed to ban neo-Nazi groups from parading in public.

The vigilantes are followers of Salafism, a virulently anti-Western ideology that openly seeks to replace democracy in Germany (and elsewhere) with an Islamic government based on Sharia law.

Salafist ideology posits that Sharia law is superior to secular, common law because it emanates from Allah, the only legitimate lawgiver, and thus is legally binding eternally for all of humanity. According to the Salafist worldview, democracy is an effort to elevate the will of humans above the will of Allah, and is therefore a form of idolatry that must be rejected. In other words, Sharia law and democracy are incompatible.

Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung said he hoped the police would take a hard line against the Islamists: “The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others. We will not allow this.”

Wuppertal Police Chief Birgitta Radermacher said the “pseudo police” represented a threat to the rule of law and that only police appointed and employed by the state have the legitimate right to act as police in Germany. She added:

“The monopoly of power lies exclusively with the State. Behavior that intimidates, threatens or provokes will not be tolerated. These ‘Sharia Police’ are not legitimate. Call 110 [police] when you meet these people.”

Wuppertal’s public prosecutor, Wolf-Tilman Baumert, argued that the men, who wore orange vests emblazoned with the words “SHARIAH POLICE,” had violated a law that bans wearing uniforms at public rallies. The law, which especially prohibits uniforms that express political views, was originally designed to prevent neo-Nazi groups from parading in public. According to Baumert, the vests were illegal because they had a “deliberate, intimidating and militant” effect.

On November 21, 2016, however, the Wuppertal District Court ruled that the vests technically were not uniforms, and in any event did not pose a threat. The court said that witnesses and passersby could not possibly have felt intimidated by the men, and that prosecuting them would infringe on their freedom of expression. The “politically correct” decision, which may be appealed, effectively authorizes the Sharia Police to continue enforcing Islamic law in Wuppertal.

German Courts and Sharia Law

German courts are increasingly deferring to Islamic law because either the plaintiffs or the defendants are Muslim. Critics say the cases — especially those in which German law has taken a back seat to Sharia law — reflect a dangerous encroachment of Islamic law into the German legal system.

In May 2016, for example, an appeals court in Bamberg recognized the marriage of a 15-year-old Syrian girl to her 21-year-old cousin. The court ruled that the marriage was valid because it was contracted in Syria, where such marriages are allowed according to Sharia law, which does not set any age limit to marriage. The ruling effectively legalized Sharia child marriages in Germany.

The case came about after the couple arrived at a refugee shelter in Aschaffenburg in August 2015. The Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) refused to recognize their marriage and separated the girl from her husband. The couple filed a lawsuit and a family court ruled in favor of the Youth Welfare Office, which claimed to be the girl’s legal guardian.

The court in Bamberg overturned that ruling. It determined that, according to Sharia law, the marriage is valid because it has already been consummated, and therefore the Youth Welfare Office has no legal authority to separate the couple.

The ruling — which was described as a “crash course in Syrian Islamic marriage law” — ignited a firestorm of criticism. Some accused the court in Bamberg of applying Sharia law over German law to legalize a practice that is banned in Germany.

Critics of the ruling pointed to Article 6 of the Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (Einführungsgesetz zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuche, EGBGB), which states:

“A legal standard of another State shall not be applied where its application results in an outcome which is manifestly incompatible with the essential principles of German law. In particular, it is not applicable if the application is incompatible with fundamental rights.”

This stipulation is routinely ignored, however, apparently in the interests of political correctness and multiculturalism. Indeed, Sharia law has been encroaching into the German justice system virtually unchecked for nearly two decades. Some examples include:

  • In August 2000, a court in Kassel ordered a widow to split her late Moroccan husband’s pension with another woman to whom the man was simultaneously married. Although polygamy is illegal in Germany, the judge ruled that the two wives must share the pension, in accordance with Moroccan law.
  • In March 2004, a court in Koblenz granted the second wife of an Iraqi living in Germany the right to remain permanently in the country. The court ruled that after five years in a polygamous marriage in Germany, it would be unfair to expect her to return to Iraq.
  • In March 2007, a judge in Frankfurt cited the Koran in a divorce case involving a German-Moroccan woman who had been repeatedly beaten by her Moroccan husband. Although police ordered the man to stay away from his estranged wife, he continued to abuse her and at one point threatened to kill her. Judge Christa Datz-Winter refused to grant the divorce. She quoted Sura 4, Verse 34 of the Koran, which justifies “both the husband’s right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband’s superiority over the wife.” The judge was eventually removed from the case.
  • In December 2008, a court in Düsseldorf ordered a Turkish man to pay a €30,000 ($32,000) dowry to his former daughter-in-law, in accordance with Sharia law.
  • In October 2010, a court in Cologne ruled that an Iranian man must pay his ex-wife a dower of €162,000 euros ($171,000), the current equivalent value of 600 gold coins, in accordance with the original Sharia marriage contract.
  • In December 2010, a court in Munich ruled that a German widow was entitled to only one-quarter of the estate left by her late husband, who was born in Iran. The court awarded the other three-quarters of the inheritance to the man’s relatives in Tehran in accordance with Sharia law.
  • In November 2011, a court in Siegburg allowed an Iranian couple to be divorced twice, first by a German judge according to German law, and then by an Iranian cleric according to Sharia law. The director of the Siegburg District Court, Birgit Niepmann, said the Sharia ceremony “was a service of the court.”
  • In July 2012, a court in Hamm ordered an Iranian man to pay his estranged wife a dower as part of a divorce settlement. The case involved a couple who married according to Sharia law in Iran, migrated to Germany and later separated. As part of the original marriage agreement, the husband promised to pay his wife a dower of 800 gold coins payable upon demand. The court ordered the husband to pay the woman €213,000 ($225,000), the current equivalent value of the coins.
  • In June 2013, a court in Hamm ruled that anyone who contracts marriage according to Islamic law in a Muslim country and later seeks a divorce in Germany must abide by the original terms established by Sharia law. The landmark ruling effectively legalized the Sharia practice of “triple-talaq,” obtaining a divorce by reciting the phrase “I divorce you” three times.
  • In July 2016, a court in Hamm ordered a Lebanese man to pay his estranged wife a dower as part of a divorce settlement. The case involved a couple who married according to Sharia law in Lebanon, migrated to Germany and later separated. As part of the original marriage agreement, the husband promised to pay his wife a dower of $15,000. The German court ordered him to pay her the equivalent amount in euros.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, Islam expert Mathias Rohe said that the existence of parallel legal structures in Germany is an “expression of globalization.” He added: “We apply Islamic law just as we do French law.”

Sharia Courts in Germany

A growing number of Muslims in Germany are consciously bypassing German courts altogether and instead are adjudicating their disputes in informal Sharia courts, which are proliferating across the country. According to one estimate, some 500 Sharia judges are now regulating civil disputes between Muslims in Germany — a development that points to the establishment of a parallel Islamic justice system in the country.

A major reason for the growth in Sharia courts is that Germany does not recognize polygamy or marriages involving minors.

The German Interior Ministry, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, recently revealed that 1,475 married children are known to be living in Germany as of July 31, 2016 — including 361 children who are under the age of 14. The true number of child marriages in Germany is believed to be much higher than the official statistics suggest, because many are being concealed.

Polygamy, although illegal under German law, is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives.

According to an exposé broadcast by RTL, one of Germany’s leading media companies, Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of a Muslim cleric. Once in Germany, the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.”

Although the welfare fraud committed by Muslim immigrants is an “open secret” costing German taxpayers millions of euros each year, government agencies are reluctant to take action due to political correctness, according to RTL.

Chancellor Angela Merkel once declared that Muslims must obey the constitution and not Sharia law if they want to live in Germany. More recently, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said:

“No one who comes here has the right to put his cultural values or religious beliefs above our law. Everyone must abide by the law, no matter whether they have grown up here or have only just arrived.”

In practice, however, German leaders have tolerated a parallel Islamic justice system, one which allows Muslims to take the law into their own hands, often with tragic consequences.

On November 20, 2016, for example, a 38-year-old German-Kurdish man in Lower Saxony tied one end of a rope to the back of his car and the other end around the neck of his ex-wife. He then dragged the woman through the streets of Hameln. The woman, who survived, remains in critical condition.

The newsmagazine, Focus, reported that the man was a “strictly religious Muslim who married and divorced the woman according to Sharia law.” It added: “Under German law, however, the two were not married.” Bild reported that the man was married “once under German law and four times under Sharia law.”

The crime, which has drawn renewed attention to the problem of Sharia justice in Germany, has alarmed some members of the political and media establishment.

Wolfgang Bosbach, of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said: “Even if some people refuse to admit it, a parallel justice system has established itself in Germany. This act shows a clear rejection of our values and legal order.”

On November 23, Bild, the largest-circulation newspaper in Germany, warned that the country was “capitulating to Islamic law.” In a special “Sharia Report” it stated:

“The 2013 coalition agreement between the CDU and the Social Democrats promised: ‘We want to strengthen the state’s legal monopoly. We will not tolerate illegal parallel justice.’ But nothing has happened.”

In a commentary, Franz Solms-Laubach, Bild’s parliamentary correspondent, wrote:

“Even if we still refuse to believe it: Parts of Germany are ruled by Islamic law! Polygamy, child marriages, Sharia judges — for far too long the German rule of law has not been enforced. Many politicians dreamed of multiculturalism….

“This is not a question of folklore or foreign customs and traditions. It is a question of law and order.

“If the rule of law fails to establish its authority and demand respect for itself, then it can immediately declare its bankruptcy.”

 

UK: Sharia court orders woman to return to abusive, rapist husband

November 15, 2016

UK: Sharia court orders woman to return to abusive, rapist husband, Jihad Watch

SHARIA courts are sentencing women to lives of misery by ordering them to stay with abusive husbands, a rape victim has claimed.

Where is the power of Western principles of human rights and a democratic constitution in Britain? This is what the Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, has defended in the name of religious freedom and diversity: she hailed the “great benefits” to Britain of sharia teachings, overlooking the principles of sharia, which permits men to beat and rape their wives. Add to that the shocking coverup of the abuse and brutalization of up to a million British girls at the hands of Muslim rape gangs. With its two-tier legal system, Britain is descending further into the pit of subjugation.

sharia-court

“Sharia court told rape victim to RETURN to her attacker husband,” by Leda Reynolds, UK Express, November 14, 2016:

The mother-of-two, calling herself Lubna, revealed that she had been beaten, robbed and raped by her estranged husband despite being the British courts banning him from approaching her and which had also awarded her custody of their children.

But family pressure persuaded the British-Pakistani to try and obtain an Islamic divorce in a Sharia court.

Expecting to be treated sympathetically, Lubna said she felt violated when she was instead told to return to her violent husband.

Gita Sahgal, a human rights activist from the One Law for All campaign and Centre for Secular Space, said this is the reality of Sharia courts which are operating across Britain.

She said many Muslim women are being denied their legal rights by Sharia courts which are bypassing the UK’s justice system and telling women British civil divorce does not count in the eyes of Islam.

She said: “Any woman who embarks on a new relationship will, they say, have committed adultery – a crime only equalled in their eyes by apostasy, abandoning Islam, and blasphemy.

“Yet the courts in, for example, Bangladesh and Pakistan, are perfectly happy to accept a civil divorce certificate from Britain as evidence of the end of a marriage, which in the Muslim tradition is a civil contract rather than a sacrament. In those countries, the contract must be registered to count as a legal marriage.”

The Commons Home Affairs Committee has begun an investigation into the spread of Islamic law, a move criticised by some Muslims who have branded the probe “interference”.

Dr Ahmad al-Dubayan, chairman of the UK Board of Sharia Councils – a body set up to standardise the administration of Islamic law – said unregulated Sharia law courts exist “everywhere in the country”.

And he told the Home Affairs Select Committee last week the self-appointed courts are performing marriages and handing out divorces.

Although the unregulated bodies have no legal force or jurisdiction in the UK, they are regularly used by Muslim families to adjudicate on personal matters, the Committee heard.

Many courts reportedly charge for their services, with fees for divorce proceedings often higher than British courts.

The doctor warned the exact number of Sharia courts operating across Britain is unknown.

He said: “We don’t know how many councils there are.

“Some people talk about 80 or 30 or 50, I don’t know. There is no record for this and no studies, unfortunately.”…..

The Select Committee heard that if Sharia courts are banned, backstreet courts will continue to operate but will slip even further under the radar.

Labour MP Naz Shah, who also giving evidence, admitted the councils could be used to “oppress” women.

She added: “Sharia itself is actually a code of conduct and the fundamental principal of Sharia is that the law of the land precedes anything.

“You cannot enforce and have a second parallel legal system in this country.

“As a British lawmaker I’m very clear, we have one law and that law is of the British court.”