* We call on the UK government to recognise that Sharia and all religious laws are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular. Citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.
* We demand an end to all Sharia courts and religious tribunals on the basis that they work against and not for equality and human rights.
* We demand that the law be amended so that all religious tribunals are banned from operating within and outside of the legal system.
Sharia law is unfair and unjust in civil matters
Proponents argue that the implementation of Sharia is justified when limited to
civil matters, such as child custody, divorce and inheritance. In fact, it is civil
matters that are one of the main cornerstones of the subjugation of and discrimination against women and children.
Under Sharia law a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; a woman’s marriage contract is between her male guardian and her husband. A man can have four wives and divorce his wife by simple repudiation, whereas a woman must give reasons, some of which are extremely difficult to prove.
Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age, even if the father is abusive; women who remarry lose custody of their children; and sons are entitled to inherit twice the share of daughters.
The voluntary nature of Sharia courts is a sham
Proponents argue that those who choose to make use of Sharia courts and
tribunals do so voluntarily and that according to the Arbitration Act parties are
free to agree upon how their disputes are resolved.
In reality, many of those dealt with by Sharia courts are from the most marginalised segments of society with little or no knowledge of their rights under British law. Many, particularly women, are pressured into going to these courts and abiding by their decisions.
More importantly, those who fail to make use of Sharia law or seek to opt out
will be made to feel guilty and can be treated as apostates and outcasts. Even if completely voluntary, which is untrue, the discriminatory nature of the courts would be sufficient reason to bring an end to their use and implementation.
Full information (PDF) lefleat here.