25 January 2016

Sharia law UK: Baroness Cox says move to restrict Islamic courts 'has MPs' support'

A new law that seeks to restrict the power of Sharia courts in Britain could soon be debated on the floor of the House of Commons after passing its final reading in the Lords.

Baroness Cox's Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill passed unamended in the Lords on 20 January and is now on its way to the Commons, where the 78-year-old cross party peer believes it already has significant support from both Labour and Conservative MPs.

Cox told IBTimes UK that she has a meeting with Justice Secretary Michael Gove on Monday (1 February) and is optimistic that David Cameron's government may consider taking on her bill. If not, she said at least three Labour MPs had expressed an interest in taking it on as a private members bill.

The bill could see Sharia court scholars jailed if they present themselves as judges, and could force Islamic courts to ensure equality of the sexes. Cox believes this dovetails with plans by the Home Secretary to launch an enquiry into the Sharia system and the announcement of new funding for Muslim women to learn English. [International Business Times] Read more