01 November 2016

Sharia councils treat Muslim women unfairly, MPs told

Sharia councils discriminate against Muslim women when they are seeking a religious divorce, MPs have been told.

The Home Affairs Committee heard evidence about the councils, which use Islamic law to grant divorces.

Maryam Namazi, of One Law for All, said the council process was "tantamount to abuse", with women told to stay silent and domestic violence justified.

Khola Hasan, a woman who sits on a UK Sharia council, said they offered women a service not available elsewhere.

At the hearing, witnesses explained that even after a civil divorce, a family or community might not accept the marriage was over until a religious divorce had taken place.

MPs also heard that between 30 and 40% of Muslim marriages were religious only, meaning the women did not have the same rights as wives in a civil marriage. [BBC] Read more