09 July 2015

Sharia marriage: beyond the law’s reach

.... His and other councils deny they are “courts” or parallel legal systems. “Our job is to help Muslim women obtain the Islamic divorce they cannot obtain from the courts. If they can’t get it from their husbands, where can they go?”

He agrees, though, that Sharia councils are inconsistent in how they operate and apply principles. “Some are more moderate, flexible, familiarised with the Western concept of families and civil life but some geographically are in this country, but ideologically elsewhere.”

So his and Bone’s liberal equality-based outlook is not universal; nor does it sit easily with stricter interpretations of Islamic law that endorse discrimination — for instance, sons’ inheritance rights over daughters’ . Consistency is needed; and to that end Baroness Cox is promoting a private member’s bill. “Many [Muslim women] are suffering in ways that would make the suffragettes turn in their graves. [The Times (£)] Read more