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Aina Khan: What she isn't saying

Aina Khan: What she isn't saying

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A concerned lawyer has contacted Sharia Watch having read an article concerning pro-sharia lawyer and practitioner Aina Khan.  Khan is a frequent advocate of the sharia system in the UK and regularly claims that she is concerned only about the rights of women who find that their marriages are not registered under English law.  She says she is trying to obtain rights for such women, and she uses sharia to do so.  But, as this lawyer points out, there are remedies within English law for unmarried partners who face problems regarding property or child custody. 


He wrote:

“Ms Khan has been in the press recently stating that the vast majority of Muslim marriages are not legal in the UK.  This is undoubtedly true as most marriages are conducted as religious ceremonies only (and not registered as under the Marriage Act 1949).

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What is, however, not mentioned by Ms Khan is that Muslim women (it usually is women) can still be given rights as co-habitees under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

In respect to property this Act allows:

  • Order for sales of properties;
  • Declaration of parties beneficial interests (how shares are held);
  • Order for one party to pay the other party a sum of money as compensation for occupation rent;
  • Declaration as to who is entitled to occupy the property.

Whilst pursuing a claim at the County Court under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 does not give as much rights/protection as those under a valid UK Marriage it does nevertheless offer something.

And, of course, co-habitees also have rights to seek to see their children under the Children Act 1989 in the Family Courts regardless of not having a valid UK marriage. The Family Court's main criterion in reaching a decision is what is in the best interests of the child/ren.

It seems to me that Ms Khan, by failing to mention these options available to all co-habitees (which any lawyer would be aware of), is seeking to actively promote a parallel 'legal system' of Sharia. (Ms Khan seems to be saying in shock tactics: " your marriage is not valid - your only option is through the religious Sharia councils").

My point being is that even if the marriage is not valid under UK law there are still (albeit not perfect) legal remedies available at the County and Family Courts.

These legal remedies are available regardless of age, sex, disability, race, religion etc - as it should be under the law.

Ms Khan's silence on the existing legal remedies speaks volumes.”