“I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.” Druid/Archbishop Rowan Williams begs to differ. More on this story.
“Sharia law is now legally binding,” from Public Service, September 15:
It’s been described by one commentator as an example of Great Britain “˜surrendering” itself and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was criticised for saying it will happen, but whatever the reaction, Islamic law now officially operates in the UK.
Whereas before rulings by sharia courts in Britain could only be enforced if all parties in a Muslim civil case agreed to abide by them, now what the courts say will be legally binding, backed by county courts or the High Court.
However, Siddiqi admitted that the courts can favour men, with several cases of domestic violence ending with husbands receiving little punishment other than being made to take an anger management course. In every case, the women later withdrew their claims.
Tory shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve was amazed that sharia law had been made legally binding. “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.”
And Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: “I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.”