Posted by: becketfund | November 19, 2008

UK: Grapples With Use of Islamic Law

LONDON – National debate continues over religious diversity and the pre-eminence of British law, particularly now that more British Muslims are turning to informal Islamic law councils to mediate disputes, the International Herald Tribune reported on November 19.  Since the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, suggested in February 2008 that aspects of Islamic Shariah might be embraced alongside the traditional legal system, the government has been grappling with a public unrest over the issue, assuaging critics while trying to reassure a wary and at times disaffected Muslim population that its traditions have a place in British society. The Church of England has its own ecclesiastical courts and British Jews have their own “beth din” courts. Conservatives and liberals alike have repeatedly denounced the courts as poor substitutes for British jurisprudence.

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