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The Government should be wary of its review on sharia ‘law

The Government should be wary of its review on sharia ‘law

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Date Published: 
Wednesday, 7 February, 2018
Summary: 

Sadikur Rahman says implementing official recommendations on sharia 'courts' would entangle civil and religious law and undermine vulnerable women's rights. The Government should instead secularise the marriage laws. Ten years ago today Rowan Williams suggested the UK should "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system and said the adoption of certain aspects of sharia 'law' in the UK seemed "unavoidable". Now we're hearing similar noises again, after last week's publication of the Government's long-awaited  on sharia councils. When the review came out the Home Office thankfully said it would not regulate the councils, which would have conferred effective legitimacy on them and further eroded the wall between civil and religious law. But it added that it would consider its other recommendations. It is therefore worth reflecting on some of the implications these could have.