29 February 2016

Sharia courts in the UK are run by extremists who back cutting off criminals' hands, says Muslim scholar

Sharia courts administering Islamic justice in Britain are run by clerics who believe some offenders should have their hands chopped off, an investigation has found.

Muslim scholar Elham Manea said that some clerics also believe girls can be married at the age of 12 and described their prevailing attitude as ‘totalitarian’ and more backward than some parts of Pakistan.

The findings from the human rights specialist come amid continuing controversy over the role of sharia courts, which rule in family and inheritance disputes between Muslims who agree to be bound by the decisions. There are thought to be around 85 operating in Britain.

Last December, Home Secretary Theresa May set up an independent review into their role, amid fears that they discriminate against women.

Professor Manea, who is based at Zurich University, spent four years speaking to clerics at sharia courts in London and the Midlands. Her book on the project concludes that the courts represent ‘closed communities’.

Her findings, published by The Sunday Times, said that they increase ‘segregation, inequality and discrimination’ and can encourage ‘political instability and home-grown terrorism’. [Daily Mail] Read more