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July 2016


 it was clear that, despite the widely presumed promise of the Arab spring, 2011 had been a year in which sharia enforcement has both spread and intensified both in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. This is part of a longer term pattern of increasing Islamisation that has been happening since the late 1970s and which has continued in 2012.

The enforcement of sharia happens at a number of levels. The ultimate aim of Islamists is that sharia becomes the only system of law and government, with both Muslims and non Muslims alike subject to it.


What is happening is not a random unconnected series of events. They have historical precedent in the medieval interpretations of Islam that are termed classical Islam, which envisions the enforcement of Islamic government and sharia, if necessary by means of force, on Muslim and non Muslim alike.


Crucial to achieving these will be combatting the spread of sharia enforcement across the world. It is in Britain’s national interest that this becomes a central feature of British foreign policy:

The enforcement of sharia and Islamic government around the world is the central aim of Islamists – including violent Islamists. As I have demonstrated , the aims of Islamists who use the ballot box differ only in their method, not their long term aims from those of violent Islamists, as can be seen where Islamists in countries affected by the Arab Spring have used democracy as a route to power. Although how long those countries remain democratic once Islamists gain power remains to be seen.

Once sharia is enforced lobbying by western governments is largely ineffective as it becomes almost impossible to dislodge it, as can be seen from this year’s assassination of two liberal Pakistani politicians who called for reform of the country’s blasphemy laws.

Equally, where sharia is enforced it does not assuage the demands of Islamists as some on the liberal-left seem to assume. Rather, it gives them bridgehead from which to seek to expand sharia enforcement further afield, as can be seen from what is happening in Nigeria.


In an Open Letter to Theresa May, hundreds of women’s human rights organisations and campaigners warn against a further slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems.

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