The practice of Sharia Law in Britain has long been a controversial topic.
In light of the most recent investigation into the operation of sharia courts, Shaista Gohir, the chair of Muslim Women’s Network UK argues that the opinions and experiences of Muslim Women who have used the sharia court system need to be heard more to avoid discriminating Muslim women further.
As Shaista points out, removing the sharia court system entirely would drive divorce proceedings underground, increasing the vulnerability of muslim women.
“There are many provisions in Islam that allow women to obtain a religious divorce quickly, without duress and discrimination, that sharia councils should be practising,” wrote Gohir, who will give evidence to the committee on Tuesday. The evidence from the group reads: “Sharia councils and the Mat hold themselves out to be ‘courts of law’ but they are in fact highly arbitrary decision-making forums that use dominant, patriarchal and authoritarian interpretations of Muslim codes which are passed off as ‘sharia’ laws.”