Con­ser­va­tive think-tank un­favourably com­pares Sharia courts to Batei Din

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

UN­PUB­LISHED RE­SEARCH by one of the UK’s lead­ing think-tanks makes un­favourable com­par­isons be­tween the con­duct of Mus­lim Sharia law courts with that of rab­bini­cal courts, the Batei Din. The re­search sug­gests that while Batei Din are in­juncted by Jewish law to act in ac­cor­dance with the law of the land, Sharia courts aim to usurp lo­cal laws.

Shadow Schools Sec­re­tary Michael Gove this week cited a pre­lim­i­nary re­port pre­pared for the cen­tre-right think-tank Pol­icy Ex­change as a ba­sis for his op­po­si­tion to Sharia courts in the UK. “There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween the courts of the Jewish com­mu­nity and the reach of Sharia, as some have ad­vo­cated it,” he said at the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael re­cep­tion at the party con­fer­ence. “And be­sides, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Mus­lim cit­i­zens don’t want to live un­der Sharia”.

Mr Gove, one of the founders of Pol­icy Ex­change in 2002, told the JC that the re­port com­pared the roles of the two dif­fer­ent types of re­li­gious courts, Jewish and Mus­lim, point by point, as they act in dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

He ex­plained: “While the Beth Din pro­vide ad­vice and guid­ance to Jews while fol­low­ing the law of the land, the Sharia courts are all about usurp­ing the law of the land.” In his opin­ion, Sharia courts could only be al­lowed in the UK “if they ad­here to the law of the land, which are at the foun­da­tion of West­ern so­ci­ety and do not up­set the modus vivendi.”

The Sharia-courts is­sue ex­ploded in Fe­bru­ary when the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, Rowan Wil­liams, said that the use of some as­pect of Sharia law seemed “un­avoid­able”. It resur­faced re­cently when the Lord Chief Jus­tice, Lord Phillips, said: “There is no rea­son why Sharia prin­ci­ples, or any other re­li­gious code, should not be the ba­sis for me­di­a­tion or other forms of al­ter­na­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion.”

In fact there are al­ready Sharia courts in Bri­tain de­liv­er­ing ver­dicts that are of­fi­cially bind­ing by law, un­der the 1996 Ar­bi­tra­tion Act.

Pol­icy Ex­change is fac­ing le­gal action for ac­cus­ing Bri­tish mosques of dis­tribut­ing ex­trem­ist lit­er­a­ture.

The Al-Manaar Mus­lim Cul­tural Her­itage Cen­tre in west Lon­don claims that Pol­icy Ex­change fab­ri­cated sev­eral re­ceipts used as ev­i­dence of pur­chase of al­leged ex­trem­ist lit­er­a­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.