Islamic tribunals have been set up in the West Midlands to resolve disputes among the Muslim community.
Special hearings, comprising of an Islamic scholar and a lawyer, are hearing arguments before making rulings which are legally binding before proceedings start. A Black Country judge has been appointed to advise the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) on how to make their rulings fit in with English law.
Shamim Qureshi, a district judge who lives in Wolverhampton and regularly sits at the city”s magistrates court, said they were not Sharia courts and were legally binding under the Arbitration Act 1996.
He told the Express & Star today: “That suggests it’s a court and that Sharia law is adopted in its entirety. We”re taking a bit of it, which is civil Islamic law.
“MAT is arbitration and that exists in this country. Any two people can agree to it, just like a contract with an insurance company for home insurance.”
He highlighted one case where one man was found by the panel to owe money to another man.
The panel highlighted the fact that the debtor spoke Arabic and ruled that he should teach the language to the son of the man he owed money to.
Mr Qureshi said: “Both sides were happy to deal with it in that way.
And this solution could only have been reached by relying on sharia? A Solomon-like figure arbitrating according to “common sense” — not Islamic principles — could come up with the same sort of solutions. But obviously that would never do: what sort of Muslim is willing to abide by judgments pronounced by kuffara living in a state of jahiliyya?