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Edinburgh Professor to Chair Controversial Review of Sharia Law

May 27, 2016   /  Uncategorized   /   no comments

Edinburgh University professor Mona Siddiqui is to head a controversial review into the potential harms caused by Sharia Law.

Mona Siddiqui

Mona Siddiqui

The probe has been ordered by the Home Secretary Theresa May as part of a counter-extremism strategy.

It will look at whether Sharia courts discriminate against women – by legitimising forced marriages and issuing unfair divorce settlements – in England and Wales.

The inquiry is not expected to finish until sometime next year.

Mrs May said: “A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils, and that is a significant concern.

“There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.”

She said that the review would help ministers understand “whether and the extent to which Sharia law is being misused or exploited”.

But she added that the inquiry would not review the totality of Sharia law, which she described as a “source of guidance for many Muslims in the UK”.

Professor Siddiqui, the first person to hold a chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh University, said it was a “privilege” to chair such an important piece of work.

She added: “At a time when there is so much focus on Muslims in the UK, this will be a wide ranging, timely and thorough review as to what actually happens in Sharia councils.”

She will be assisted by retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley, barrister Sam Momtaz and specialist family lawyer Anne Marie Hutchinson.

Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim, who is chief imam at the Makkah mosque in Leeds, will advise the panel on religious and theological issues.


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