In 2008 the Archbishop of Canterbury was quoted as saying, "There is a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law."
Suhaib Hasan, Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council, has stated, "If Sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country (the UK) into a haven of peace because once a thief's hand is cut off nobody is going to steal. Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all. We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, if they accept it, it is for their good and if they don't accept it they'll need more and more prisons.
Just imagine if a revered cleric had made the Archbishop's statement in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, substituting the word 'Christian' for 'Muslim'. Would the revered cleric's head still be in contact with his body?
Just imagine if the Archbishop had made Suhaib Hasan's statement in the UK. He would have been pilloried as a Nazi.
Here are some of the tenets of Sharia law. See if you are keen for any to be adopted.
In the Civil code:
A woman's testimony is worth only half of a man's; though in some sharia cases it is completely unacceptable.
A man can have four wives and can divorce his wife by a simple declaration.
A woman can have only one husband at a time and must give justifications for requesting a divorce, some of which are extremely difficult to prove.
The father regains custody of his children when they reach a certain age, or sooner if the woman remarries.
Sons are entitled to double inheritance compared to daughters.
In the Penal code:
Married adulterers are to be stoned to death.
Theft is punishable by amputation.
Drinking alcohol is punishable by flogging.
Highway robbery is punishable by crucifixion.
Apostasy (leaving Islam) is punishable by death. Although some schools believe that this does not apply to women and children, all schools believe it applies to adult males.
Homosexual behaviour is punishable by death.
Eating during daytime during Ramadan is punishable by imprisonment or flogging.
Improper veiling of a woman is punishable by fines, imprisonment or threats.
The pressure to introduce Sharia law into Britain is being opposed by a Human Rights group, One Law for All who have issued a report, Sharia Law in Britain: A threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights.
As the report states: Sharia law is practiced in Britain primarily by Sharia Councils and Muslims Arbitration Tribunals. Both operate on religious principles and are harmful to women although Muslim Arbitration Tribunals are wrongly regarded as being of more concern because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act 1996, making their rulings binding in law.
Sharia Councils, on the other hand, claim to mediate on family issues but in practice often this differs little from arbitration: they frequently ask those appearing before them to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions; they call themselves courts, and the presiding imams, judges. Their decisions are then imposed and regarded as having the weight of legal judgements.
There is neither control over the appointment of “judges” in Sharia Councils or Tribunals nor an independent mechanism for monitoring them. Clients often do not have access to legal advice and representation. The proceedings are not recorded, nor are there any searchable legal judgements, nor any real right of appeal.
Sharia law cannot be compared to secular legal systems because it is considered sacred law that cannot be challenged. There is no scope to look at the interests of the individuals involved, as required by UK family law.
These legal processes ignore both common law and due process, far less Human Rights, and provide little protection and safety for women in violent situations.
There is a general assumption that those who attend Sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged in a British court. Many of the principles of Sharia law are contrary to British law and public policy, and would in theory therefore be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, however, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions, and may lack knowledge of English and their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a Sharia court can give rise to threats and intimidation, or at best being ostracised.
According to Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign and an author of the report, “The existence of a parallel legal system that is denying a large section of the British population their fundamental human rights is scandalous. Our findings show that it is essential to abolish all religious courts in the UK. Their very existence and legitimisation puts pressure on vulnerable women not to assert their civil rights in a British court. As long as Sharia Councils and Tribunals are allowed to continue to make rulings on issues of family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial to them and their children.”
Richard Dawkins is certainly no favourite of mine but even he laments the decline of Christianity in this country. I quote, "There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, insofar as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse."