Category Archives: Sharia in the UK

Sharia Laws are part of the extremist threat and not a solution

 

Letter to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State

The Independent Review on Sharia: Sharia Laws are part of the extremist threat and not a solution

As black and minority women and human rights campaigners, we voice our dismay at the outcome of the independent review on Sharia laws commissioned by the government in 2016. Although the government has rejected formal recognition (through regulation), the way has been left open for the Sharia courts to continue to exist in a no-man’s land where they continue to produce discriminatory parallel laws while posing as an acceptable alternative dispute mechanism. Now they will be strengthened by a review that has endorsed their existence.

Sharia ‘Courts’: Why regulation is not the answer

‘Sharia’ and other religious systems of arbitration are back in the news once again. There appears to be growing recognition of the profoundly discriminatory nature of religious arbitration systems which relegate Muslim and other minority women to second rate systems of justice. But is regulation the answer?

A close examination of the workings of ‘Sharia’ Councils and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal reveal serious failings that flout principles of the rule of law and undermine the rights of women in fundamental ways. These forums use fundamentalist and ultra-conservative definitions of ‘Sharia laws’ in highly selective and authoritarian ways; they seek to impose a social culture of ‘Zina’ which compel women to resolve marital and family disputes using ‘Sharia laws’ or risk becoming social outcastes and worse.

Public seminar at UK parliament

Public Seminar at UK Parliament on Sharia Law, Legal Pluralism and Access to Justice

Sharia Law, Legal Pluralism and Access to Justice is hosted by IKWRO and several organisations and activists to debate and express concerns about the increasing state recognition and promotion of religious-based arbitration and mediation forums, such as ‘Sharia courts’ in the UK. These councils operate as parallel legal systems in which women are treated unfairly, including when seeking divorce or custody over children. The seminar will examine the range of injustices faced by women who engage with all forms of religious arbitration forums and sets out the reasons behind a growing campaign to end state legitimization of legal pluralism in the UK.

Religious arbitration and women’s rights

A meeting for BME women

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, an unprecedented number of BME women’s rights organisations and campaigners signed a letter warning against the rapid slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems in the UK.

Stop CISPA