“I think they used religion to control my freedom and I wanted to use that to get my freedom back.”
Alfia (not her real name) was only 16 when she was taken away from school and forced into an arranged marriage.
Her husband abused her for 13 years.
She tried to divorce him, but when she went to a Sharia council in the UK, they asked her to mediate with him.
A Sharia council is where matrimonial and religious matters are addressed following the guidance of Islamic law.
Supporters say their main concern is to save marriages through reconciliation. In some cases this can put women at risk especially when they want to escape from abusive relationships.
Alfia’s story is one of many that show how Sharia courts can be harmful for the Muslim community and undermine a woman’s rights.
Campaigners say that having Sharia courts in Britain is a human rights scandal and under their laws a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. [Artefact Magazine] Read more