Islamic Sharia Council
|Purpose||TO GUIDE THE MUSLIMS IN THE UK IN MATTERS RELATED TO RELIGIOUS ISSUES AS WELL AS HELPING TO SOLVE THEIR MATRIMONIAL PROBLEMS|
The Islamic Sharia Council (ISC) is a London-based, quasi-Islamic court that provides legal rulings and advice to Muslims in accordance with its brand of Islamic Sharia based on the four Sunni schools of thought. It primarily handles cases of marriage and divorce and, to a lesser extent business and finance. According to BBC News, thousands of Muslims have turned to the Council to resolve family and financial issues. As of January 2012 the Council stated that it dealt with an average of between 200 to 300 cases monthly.
The Islamic Sharia Council operates 16 tribunals in Britain, including in Birmingham, Bradford and London.
One authority holds that the council has no legal authority or jurisdiction in the United Kingdom, and can not impose any penalties; many Muslims would appear voluntarily to accept the rulings made by the ISC. Another report holds that Muslim tribunals exploit a legal loophole which allows sharia courts to be classified as arbitration courts, which allows their rulings to be binding in law.
The Islamic Sharia Council says it is ‘devoted to the articulation of classical Islamic principles in a manner that provides a platform for Islam to be the cure of all humanity’s ills.’
The BBC questioned, in April 2013, whether the Islamic Sharia Council was failing vulnerable women and mothers, primarily in divorce proceedings. The question of khula divorce often turns on the dower: if the woman is seeking the divorce, she has to return the dower to the man, if not, no divorce. In Islamic society, men are traditionally the bank account holders and women are traditionally homemakers. These traditions often mean that the woman has no purchase, as she cannot obtain a loan in order to repay the dower under Islamic rules. The Islamic Sharia Council must recognise a British divorce, by virtue of the law of the land, if the petitioner shows them a decree absolute. However, the Islamic Sharia Council is displeased if the dower remains unpaid.
The charity had listed four trustees as of their 2013 return to the Commission: DR SUHAIB HASAN, DR LIAQUAT ALI, ABU SAYEED, and SHEIKH HAITHAM.
- Suhaib Hasan is a judge of the ISC.
- Liaquat Ali
- Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed moved to the UK from Bangladesh in 1977, and at least in 2010, presided over the 16 ISC courts.
- Haitham al-Haddad, who has been characterised as a "radical cleric" by at least one news organisation, and who has claimed that has also claimed that Jews are descended from pigs, serves as a judge for the Islamic Sharia Council.
- ft.com: "First Person: Dr Suhaib Hasan", 19 Sep 2009
- charitycommission.gov.uk: 1003855 - ISLAMIC SHARIA COUNCIL OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
- Bell, Dan (14 June 2007). "In the name of the law". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 14 May 2008.
- Talwar, Divya (16 January 2012). "Growing use of Sharia by UK Muslims". BBC News. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- express.co.uk: "Rape in marriage is no crime says cleric", 15 Oct 2010
- dailymail.co.uk: "The campus of hate: How terrorist butcher Emwazi's murderous alter-ego was created in the heart of Britain's capital city", 27 Feb 2015
- bbc.com: "Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?", 6 Apr 2013
- charitycommission.gov.uk: "Contact & Trutees"
- Islamic Sharia Council Official Website
- An article on the Islamic Sharia Council by anthropologist John R. Bowen in the Boston Review
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