Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:35 pm Post subject: 85 SHARIA COURTS ARE OPERATING IN THE UK, DO YOU CARE?
|'Stoning and whipping will happen in the UK if we allow sharia law to thrive', warns peerAround 85 Sharia courts operating in Britain, study says
British Muslims settling disputes in Sharia tribunals will boost far-right support, Baroness fears
By Tom Gardner
PUBLISHED: 10:45, 21 March 2012 | UPDATED: 11:13, 21 March 2012
Brutal punishments including whipping and stoning could become widespread in the UK if Islamic Sharia law is allowed to thrive, a peer has warned.
Outspoken Baroness Cox said a growing number of British Muslims are shunning the official court system in favour of Sharia councils to settle legal disputes.
She told a House of Lords conference this could even lead to the destruction of democracy and fuel support for far-right groups like the British National Party.
Controversy: Baroness Cox, right, sparked protest when she asked far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, left, to show an anti-Islam film in the House of Lords
She said: 'We do not at the moment have the most brutal punishments, but there are those in this country who would like to bring them in.
‘Many Sharia courts are an institutional means of intimidation backed by death threats.’
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Lady Cox has previously caused controversy and inflamed tensions when in February 2009 she and UKIP peer Lord Pearson invited Dutch far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to show the anti-Islam film Fitna before the House of Lords.
A Home Office spokesman said at the time: 'The Government regrets the decision by Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson to invite Geert Wilders to the House of Lords for a private showing of his film Fitna.'
Wilders was eventually banned from the country amid fears his presence would endanger public security.
But Baroness Cox has been one of the most outspoken campaigners against the growth of Islamic law in this country.
Protests: Islamists gather outside Parliament during Mr Wilder's visit
British Muslims have been able to turn to Sharia courts since 1982.
RELIGIOUS LAW IN BRITAINSharia law is a set of religious principles based on the Koran, by which Muslims are required to live.
It has four parts: Worship, commerce, crime and punishment, marriage and divorce.
Banned behaviour - drink, drugs, adultery - should be punished.
Scholars say the Koran sets sanctions such as lashes of stoning for adultery.
Sharia law permits behaviour banned by English law, for example, polygamy.
Othodox Jews operate Beth Din courts, which decide issues according to Jewish law.
Only religious courts in England with full legal status are Church of England consistory courts and tribunals.
A study estimated that at least 85 Islamic sharia courts were operating in Britain.
The figures surprised many as the it was 17 times higher than previously accepted.
The tribunals, working mainly from mosques, lay down judgments which can be given full legal status if approved in national law courts
They operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, the report by independent think-tank Civitas said in 2009.
Sharia law courts are run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, a body whose rulings are enforced through the state courts under the 1996 Arbitration Act.
The spread of sharia law has become increasingly controversial since its role was backed by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Lord Phillips, a former Lord Chief Justice.
Dr Williams said a recognised role for sharia law seemed 'unavoidable' and Lord Phillips said there was no reason why decisions made on sharia principles should not be recognised by the national courts.
But the Civitas report said the principles on which sharia courts work are indicated by the fatwas - religious decrees - set out on websites run by British mosques.
It does not matter if you care or not YOU do not have a say, your laws do not matter foreigners can do as they like but YOU cannot, you are now a slave.