It’s been discovered that Sharia law is now being recognized officially in England. Very quietly, the government has set up five Sharia courts in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Nuneaton. Two more are being set up as I type in Glasgow and Edinburgh. All this after the Archbishop of Canterbury was harshly ridiculed for making the remark that it was “inevitable” that Sharia law would eventually be recognized as valid in the United Kingdom.
A well-known Muslim named Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi found a loophole in Britain’s 1996 Aribitration Act. In short, the act states that as long as both parties involved in a dispute agree to it, anyone legally recognized can settle the dispute. Without the knowledge of the citizens of Britain, Sharia courts now exist and have full legal powers. Realize that with this comes Sharia punishments, including rape victims being flogged, men being allowed to divorce their wives by simply saying “I divorce you” three times, and women not being allowed to own property or be educated if their husbands so choose. England has made a grave error in allowing one sect of society to have its own laws.
Jewish courts operate under the same principal in England, but they only have power over civil disputes. If the Sharia courts would be run this way, it might be acceptable; however, even the parties in the Jewish courts have to have more binding documentation valid in British court. Siddiqi was proud to announce that Sharia courts will handle criminal cases as well, even though one government agent stated that for the Sharia court to do so would be “unlawful.”
It’s one thing to have separate arbitration groups overseen by the courts; it’s another to grant full rights to entirely different courts, especially those run by religion. Jewish, Christian, Muslim or otherwise–none should be granted final power in any case over the law of the land. This kind of garbage is what made it possible for the British government to confiscate all civilian-owned firearms and ban any and all civilian use of guns.
Rowan Williams (the Archbishop) was right; it was only a matter of time. I, for one, never believed it would happen so soon. Those who think we should care what Europeans think of us need to take a good, long look at things like this and reconsider whether it’s really that important.