03 July 2015

Rise in Sharia marriages prompts polygamy fears

The UK has seen a surge in sharia marriages with many of them involving polygamy.

A lawyer dealing with cases claims there are now up to 100,000 such marriages mostly involving young Muslim men - which are not recognised under UK law and leave women without full legal rights.

Last year a report by AURAT, a charity which supports victims of honour-based violence, revealed that two thirds of Sharia marriages in its study were polygamous.

London-based solicitor Aina Khan specialises in cases of Sharia law and told the Times: "Probably a quarter of all the couples I see involve polygamy issues. There has been a high rise in recent years because people can have a secret Nikah (Islamic 'marriage' ceremony) and no one will know about it."

She estimated that there were “potentially 100,000 Muslims without legal recognition”.

The marriages have left Muslim women without full legal rights upon divorce. [The Telegraph] Read more