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Queens Fish Bar 7:37 Thu Feb 1
Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Lots of marriages are, aren't they? eg humanist?

Sharia marriage should be recognised under British law, a review commissioned by Theresa May has concluded.

The landmark report by Professor Mona Siddiqui also called for Sharia councils to be regulated by the Government and warned that banning the religious bodies could force them "underground".

Announcing its findings today the report found that couples should be forced to register their Islamic marriage in a civil ceremony and fines should be imposed if they do not.

There is no current obligation to do so, meaning couples who want to divorce must do so in a Sharia court, where the marriage is recognised.

The Marriage Act would have to be changed in order to enforce the recommendation, which is being considered by the Home Office.

This demand will not end if the sharia councils are banned and closed down and could lead to councils going ‘underground’
Sharia review by Prof Mona Siddiqui
Experts believe recognising Islamic marriage in British courts would prevent women being forced to appeal to Sharia councils, run largely by men, in order to get a divorce.

The report found they are often made to offer concessions in order to be released from their marriage and that such penalties are not required of men.

It also stated: "An impact of changing the marriage laws to ensure registration of Muslim marriages would be to prohibit informal polygamy through multiple Islamic marriages.

"While we have no empirical evidence on the prevalence and community perception of polygamy, the oral evidence the review has heard indicates that it is rare."

The Prime Minister commissioned the review of Sharia law when she was Home Secretary in a bid to understand and act on concerns that women are being unfairly treated by so-called courts which do not operate under British law.

It was conducted as part of the Government's counter-extremism strategy and the Home Office stated at the time: "There is evidence some sharia councils may be working in a discriminatory and unacceptable way, seeking to legitimise forced marriage and issuing divorces that are unfair to women, contrary to the teachings of Islam."

The Prime Minister called for the review
The Prime Minister called for the review CREDIT: EPA
The study revealed women are often not represented on Sharia councils, are asked invasive questions and treated unfairly by sharia courts.

It also recommended an awareness campaign to help women understand their rights and responsibilities under Islamic law and offer them advice.

However it did not directly address ongoing concerns about the way women are prevented from seeking legal help.

It stated: "Change is required within Muslim communities so that communities acknowledge women's rights in civil law, especially in areas of marriage and divorce."

But the report acknowledges that it may be difficult to ensure the recommendations are enforced because of ingrained cultural beliefs.

It also highlights concerns that women are still restricted in where they are allowed to go and who they are allowed to talk to.

The report concludes: "It is clear from all the evidence that sharia councils are fulfilling a need in some Muslim communities. There is a demand for religious divorce and this is currently being answered by the sharia councils.

A bride waits to take her wedding vows
A bride waits to take her wedding vows CREDIT: REUTERS
"This demand will not end if the sharia councils are banned and closed down and could lead to councils going ‘underground’, making it even harder to ensure good practice and the prospect of discriminatory practices and greater financial costs more likely and harder to detect.

"It could also result in women needing to travel overseas to obtain divorces, putting themselves at further risk. We consider the closure of sharia councils is not a viable option.

"However, given the recommendations also proposed in this report include the registration of all Islamic marriages as well as awareness campaigns it is hoped that the demand for religious divorces from sharia councils will gradually reduce over time."

The Home Office has ruled out regulating Sharia courts but is considering the other recommendations.

A spokesman said: "We are grateful for the independent review team’s comprehensive analysis.

“We will not be taking forward the review’s recommendation to regulate Sharia councils. Sharia law has no jurisdiction in the UK and we would not facilitate or endorse regulation, which could present councils as an alternative to UK laws.

“In Britain we have a long tradition of freedom of worship and religious tolerance, where many people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices and benefit from their guidance. The Government has no intention of changing this position.

“We will consider carefully the review’s findings and its remaining recommendations.”

Prof Mona Siddiqui
Prof Mona Siddiqui, an expert in Islamic theology, chaired the Sharia review CREDIT: CHRIS BULL/ALAMY
Unveiling plans for the independent inquiry, Mrs May - then Home Secretary - claimed Sharia teaching was being “misused” and “exploited” to discriminate against Muslim women.

But, speaking at the time in May 2016, she insisted that many British people “benefit a great deal” from the guidance offered by Sharia teaching and other religious codes.

A panel of experts, including the retired High Court judge Sir Mark Hedley and leading barristers, who were advised by two leading imams, focused on investigating the treatment of women in cases involving divorce, domestic violence and child custody.

Theresa May suggested 'many Britons benefit a great deal' from Sharia teaching

Mrs May had emphasised it would look at how Sharia ideas were being “misused or exploited” rather than a broader examination of whether the teaching itself discriminates against women.

Speaking in May 2016, she added: “Many British people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit a great deal from the guidance they offer.

“A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils, and that is a significant concern.

“There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.

“Professor Siddiqui, supported by a panel with a strong balance of academic, religious and legal expertise, will help us better understand whether and the extent to which Sharia law is being misused or exploited and make recommendations to the Government on how to address this.”

What happens at unofficial Sharia 'courts'?

Although Sharia ideas have no official footing in British law, they are widely used to resolve disputes within Muslim communities, sometimes with legal effect.

One study published by the think-tank Civitas almost nine years ago estimated that there were more than 85 Sharia bodies operating in Britain, but no official estimate has been made.

They include legally-recognised tribunals - operating openly under the Arbitration Act – set up primarily to resolve financial disputes using Islamic legal principles, but which have taken on a wider range of cases.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Willtell 10:06 Fri Feb 2
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
The UK recognises Church marriages as legal so what's the difference if it's done in a mosque?

I mean I really dislike the Islamic faith and would not allow Burkhas and any religious schools to teach their lies and made up bollocks but all the time weddings in church are official marriages so should Islamic marriages be recognised.

Nutsin 5:20 Fri Feb 2
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
I’m hoping that Sharia law takes a hold in the UK, I’d like to see it grow and prosper to a point to where it really does become a debate on the rights of women and young girls vs the rights of those that follow Sharia. Fuvking Liberals heads will explode!

onlyoneclydebest 1:28 Fri Feb 2
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Muslims should go to muslim countries where they can freely do all the muslimy stuff they want,go on,give it a go,do us all a favour.Wankers

HairyHammer 8:48 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
A country's laws should not be changed for any religion in my opinion, they can still have their ceremony and marry in the eyes of God as they would wish but the law should always be of the country not the Religion.

Sven Roeder 8:35 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
I’d prefer if they prosecuted these people discriminating against women
Then banned marriage and Islam
Before making all mortgages Sharia with no interest

gph 8:30 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
*gets married on the former site of the Boleyn Ground, to a chant of "they're going to score in a minute"*

No more or less valid than Sharia

gph 8:27 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Why should ANY marriages be privileged over living together?

Let the cohabitees sanctify that with whatever mumbo-jumbo they want, including none.

cornish 8:18 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Is this not England,we have to abide by the laws of the land and if they want to live here then they should abide by the laws of the land.

Peterboroughiron 8:15 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
They don’t pay benefits in Muslim country’s that’s why

mashed in maryland 8:04 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Gavros 7:59 Thu Feb 1

Rather than spearhead a campaign to radically change British law why don't they just move to a Muslim country?

Would save everyone a lot of bother really

mashed in maryland 8:01 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Yay for sanctioned honour killings #diversity

Gavros 7:59 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Muslim says muslim law should apply in UK.

Well, I dodnt see that coming!

The Dursley Massive 7:59 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Humanist weddings only in Scotland and Wales at the moment (I think)

charleyfarley 7:47 Thu Feb 1
Re: Sharia marriage should be recognised in British law, review commissioned by Theresa May concludes
Oh dear! Oh dear oh dear!





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