New study exposes shocking rulings of UK Sharia courts

New study exposes shocking rulings of UK Sharia courts March 1, 2016

A book entitled Women And Sharia Law: The Impact Of Legal Pluralism In The UK written by Muslim academic Elham Malea, inset above, claims Sharia courts in the UK condone rape, wife-beating and the forced marriage of young girls.
According to this report, it also says some Islamic clerics support chopping off the hands of criminals while others are in favour of a father having the power to annul his daughter’s marriage if he does not approve of her partner.
The book was written following a four-year investigation into around 80 Islamic councils across London and the Midlands, in which disputes within Muslim communities are settled.
Manea, a Zurich University-based professor and expert on human rights, described the power held in these courts as “totalitarian” and said they were more extreme than in some parts of Pakistan.
She gave an example of a British woman who was forced to marry her cousin in Pakistan, where she was raped on her wedding night.
The woman returned to the UK and pleaded with a Sharia court for an annulment, which was dismissed outright.
Manea said in her book:

They did not care that she was forced to marry. They did not care that she is being raped in marriage, they do not see that as rape in marriage.

She also quoted an imam who supported girls getting married at extremely young ages, explaining there was “no particular age” limit but that:

Normally, the younger the better.

Her investigation also uncovered shocking attitudes among clerics towards physical punishment and wife beating.

A woman will be beaten in the name of religion. Beaten. And it will be legal.

One cleric was said to have told her:
A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife because this is something between them.
Manea added women from south Asia living in the UK were:

Up to three times more likely to kill themselves than women in the general population.

The book also claims that Sharia law courts base some inheritance decisions purely on gender. One cleric said:

We are very happy to give the woman half and the man double because I think this is a very fair way of dealing with the situation.

Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani told The Sunday Times she was “shocked and concerned” that women were being treated in such ways:

Just because if her gender by self-appointed community or faith leaders via Sharia courts.There is one law in the UK and that law is set by parliament. No faith-based law trumps the laws of our land.

In response to these allegations, the Muslim Council of Britain said the courts had:

No enforcement powers and operate only with consent of parties. They receive no public funding and perform an important function.

The Muslim Council of Britain is committed to ensure that the council apply rules of natural justice in their proceedings, treat parties with equal respect and fairness, have more women members on the council panels and all panel members are given training on judge craft.
Muslims must have the same right to see justice in accordance with their faith as other faiths have in the UK.

Hat tip: Peter Sykes

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  • CoastalMaineBird

    Neville Chamberlain would be proud…
    UK 2016 = US 2020

  • Broga

    “Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani told The Sunday Times she was “shocked and concerned” that women were being treated in such ways:”
    Really! But nothing will be done about it because our government is supine and lacks the moral fibre and courage to take vigorous action to confront these Muslim pests. They, the courts and the police, prefer to look away. Make sure the human rights of the Muslim male savages are not infringed.
    What a bloody country we have become. Those who are so keen on Sharia law should bugger off to countries where it is enforced. I suppose they would miss the free NHS health care, subsidised housing and state benefits.

  • L.Long

    And this says anything that we have not known for years????
    Has these people been asleep for the past 100yrs????
    England is slowing finding out what Pakistan knows…isLame is totally evil religion and should not be tolerated beyond common law. The religion needs to be slapped down and hard. In England or any western country an isLame woman should never be raped or beaten!! Oh! Wait! I forgot even white xtian women are raped and beaten here and not much is done. OK so isLame is not that different after all!

  • Har Davids

    What’s this ‘natural justice’ this Council mentions, and does it have any links with marrying pre-pubescent girls, wife-beating, keeping women under our boot in general?

  • Angela_K

    How much more evidence of Islam’s incompatibility with human rights and western democracy is required before our cultural relativistic government take action. One law for all.

  • AgentCormac

    Sadly it is hardly susprising that imams consider women to be little better than baby-bearing punch bags. But I find it both baffling and unacceptable that these so-called courts are allowed to exist in Britain. As Angela_K rightly says, one law for all.

  • barriejohn

    “One law for all” is a pipe-dream as long as we have religious groups (it applies to a similar extent to political and other societies as well), due in varying degrees to group loyalty, intimidation, and the belief that “divine law” is above human law. As I’ve said before, if we ban sharia courts then we have to take similar action against beth din and other sorts of “kangaroo courts” (almost always overseen by men), and this raises problems of personal freedom. We also know from the testimony of others, and I know from my own experience, that groups like the Brethren, Mormons and JWs are always going to operate parajudicial systems, and I really don’t know how you can stop this as long as people willingly subject themselves to it.

  • David Anderson

    One law for all passed away in November 1976.

  • “We are very happy to give the woman half and the man double because I think this is a very fair way of dealing with the situation.”
    That is very poor math to add to all the horrors of Sharia Courts.

  • Rob Andrews

    There was an article here in The Freethinker about 6 months ago called “Britain’s blasphemy law is Dead…”And from what I know ‘secularism’ has been doing this for over half a century in Europe. But at the same time over the last ten years or so, there has been an expanding of Shari’a courts and other privaloigies for Muslims.
    It’s doesn’t add up! What that tells me is that law makers are AFRAID; of things like the Danish cartoons fiascoe etc.
    Right. banning thes doesn’t do any good.

  • Horace

    Islam and muslims enemy of civilisation. There thats my reply to the fuckwit woman in the burqa.

  • Lucy1

    Have no doubt, if the rcc could get away with it, they too would have private courts.

  • barriejohn

    Lucy1: But they already do! Priests who had been abusing children were dealt with “internally” and merely moved elsewhere in the organization. When no complaints are made to the police, it is very difficult to bring people to justice. A male member (no pun intended) of our church exposed himself to one of the women some years ago, causing great distress, and the matter was dealt with by “disciplining him” (for the sake of “the testimony”, of course), but the wound never healed. Ironically, it was the perpetrator and his family who constantly complained that there was “no love” in the church, when they were lucky that he hadn’t gone to prison!
    I knew Cundick’s father; he was a respected teacher amongst the Brethren.

  • Broga

    Are not the Jehova’s Witnesses also determined to deal with child sexual abuse within their cult? Complain while a JW and expect a hard time.

  • barriejohn
  • Cali Ron

    “Muslims must have the same right to see justice in accordance with their faith as other faiths have in the UK.” Correction: Muslims have no right to see justice in accordance with their faith as other faiths have no right either in a just and fair world. Whenever the outcome is changed to satisfy religion justice is not served. To god and religion be the shame!

  • barfly

    I had two Jw knock on my door last week. When I brought up the child abuse scandal and the fact that some convicted JW are still a member and have not been kicked out the self righteous wazack bragged that he visited the local prison (Isle Of Wight) and spoke to convicted JW who had been removed. Probably to get them to return it was shortly after that that the door was slammed in there faces I must admit it was tempting to remove his mug expression with a kick in the nadgers.

  • John

    The church of england retains ecclesiastical courts and it may also be the church of rome does too. Jews have beth din courts of their own so the idea of a single legal system in this country is – at the very least – questionable.
    I have no idea as to equivalent arrangements for Hindus and Sikhs.
    Did not Rowan Williams urge acceptance of sharia courts in the UK?

  • Cali Ron

    barfly: The JW also visited me last weekend and I started to engage them briefly, but realized from past experience being on the other side of the door that it was a waste of time for both me and them. I politely told them I am an atheist and they are deluded fools, then recycled the stupid tract.

  • 1859

    ‘Muslims must have the same right to see justice in accordance with their faith ‘ – a loophole as big as the channel tunnel.

  • Tom80

    @John: The church of England ecclesiastical courts are defined as follows: In the Church of England, the ecclesiastical courts are a system courts, held by authority of the Crown, who is ex officio the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The courts have jurisdiction over matters dealing with the rights and obligations of church members, now limited to controversies in areas of church property and ecclesiastical disciplinary proceedings. In England these courts, unlike common law courts, are based upon and operate along civil law procedures and Canon law-based jurisprudence.
    These courts are restricted to Church matters and do not rule on family matters etc as the Sharia courts appear to do.

  • John

    Thank you for the information on church courts. Further information is at
    My point is not about the powers that church courts have today but to note the powers they possessed in the past and to consider how our world would change if they were ever to get those powers back again?
    I imagine all of us hope that they never do get those powers back again but we have to do more than just hope – we have to be ready to organise against any attempts to restore church and clerics’ powers .
    Allowing the growth of sharia courts and allowing jewish beth din courts to operate without challenge is surely not something we should support?
    If they are allowed to operate without hindrance, how long will it be before the “established” church starts demanding similar powers?

  • It does not speak well to the atheist project as a whole that in some cases no amount of evidence can convince people of facts. There’s no lack of evidence that for over one thousand years Islam has been, well, Islam. Islam has always done what it does now. But no amount of reports, exposes, women walking around with the severed head of an infant, beheadings of soldiers in the middle of the day in the middle of the street… no, nothing at all can convince the leadership of the United Kingdom that there might be some cause for initial and non-binding discussions of possibly issuing a report to set up a committee to consider a panel to investigate the tentative suggestion that ISLAM EQUALS THE DEATH OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.

  • John

    You raise a very good point, which inevitably raises the question “Why are things the way they are?” in my – and others’? – mind/s.
    The only answer I have ever been able to come up with has been “Because that is the way the powers-that-be want things to be”.
    The truth is that the ruling elite in this country are not stupid, even though Boris Johnson-like they try to pretend they are.
    They know exactly what Islam is all about and it is just how they want it.
    Like their US counterparts, they think they can control the malevolent forces of extremist religious ideology, just like their predecessors probably thought they could control Hitler and his extremist ideology.
    There is very clearly a pro-religion bias on the part of the ruling elite in this country, regardless of who forms the government.
    Right now, the Education Secretary, Chief Inspector of Schools and a bevy of education industry “luminaries” are all intensively pro-religion.
    Is that really just a coincidence?

  • Dahak

    Something to consider for those that wish to make this illegal: what would be the legal test? I am from the US, so I admit my understanding of British law is basically non-existent (other than it is the basis for much of our system and wigs are involved), but how would you make this illegal in a way that didn’t specify religion or restrict the right to peaceful assembly? If one of these courts were to order an illegal punishment then arrest the members as accessories, but otherwise what else can you do? Not sure if the UK version of freedom of assembly is as strict as it is here, but if it is close you can’t really arrest people for making decisions together (assuming nothing actually illegal happens as a result). Even if those decisions are repugnant.