Britain’s highest jurist believes Islamic law, known as Shari’a, should be allowed in the UK:

The most senior judge in England tonight gave his blessing to the use of sharia law to resolve disputes among Muslims.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.

He declared: ‘It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law.’

This is truly a bizarre pronouncement, on many levels. First, the idea that people can enter into a contract which operates according to some other law than the prevailing law of the land, is freakish and nonsensical … this means that, basically, any two people can enter into any kind of agreement they want, based on anything they want to base it on; they could even agree to violate the prevailing law of the land, but so long as it’s acceptable in terms of their own personal law (whatever that might be), it’s enforeable!

Second, under shari’a women have virtually no rights; they cannot initiate a divorce, for example, even if they are being abused, and they count as only one-half of a person as eyewitnesses in shari’a courts — which means essentially that a crime against a lone woman cannot ever be prosecuted under shari’a (since there has to be at least one whole person as a witness to the crime).

Third, if one can pick and choose from law codes under which to conduct one’s affairs, how will anyone ever be held accountable for anything? If I enter into a contract with a British Muslim and we have a dispute over it, would he be able to force me into a shari’a court rather than a civil British court? Who would have that power, and under whose law would the question be resolved?

That a judge who came from the noble tradition of British law — the ancestor of the law of the United States, Canada and every other Commonwealth nation — could possibly come out with something like this, is truly horrifying. Lord Phillips’s pronouncement betrays the rule of law which has served much of the western world so well for the last several centuries. It’s unfathomable!

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One Response to “Islamic Law in the UK”
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