29th June, 2010
BREAKING NEWS – MARRIOTT CHICAGO CANCELS HIZB UT-TAHRIR EVENT! WELL DONE
Want to know a little more about the One Law for All Campaign? They are campaigners from all religions and none, from all races and backgrounds who are working to uphold English/Welsh and Scottish Law in Britain. Never thought we’d have to CAMPAIGN to protect THE LAW now did you? Presumably you thought that is at least one of the reasons our parliament exists?
It seems that ain’t necessarily so, folks.
Their peaceful demo, just over a week ago, was gatecrashed by a pro-Sharia Law group, as I mentioned here (press failure to notice) and here (police failure to act against Galloway’s murder of 10,000 incitement.)
Just so you know.
I have used the entire One Law for All article with links as posted at their website:
New Report by One Law for All
“Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights”
The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable. The Campaign aims to end Sharia and all religious courts on the basis that they work against, and not for, equality and human rights.
The report is being launched to coincide with a 20 June 2010 rally on the issue of Sharia law.
Based on an 8 March 2010 Seminar on Sharia Law, research, interviews, and One Law for All case files, the report has identified a number of problem areas:
– Sharia law’s civil code is arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular. With the rise in the acceptance of Sharia courts, discrimination is being further institutionalised with some UK law firms additionally offering clients advice on Sharia law and the use of collaborative law.
– Sharia law is practiced in Britain primarily by Sharia Councils and Muslims Arbitration Tribunals. Both operate on religious principles and are harmful to women although Muslim Arbitration Tribunals are wrongly regarded as being of more concern because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act 1996, making their rulings binding in law.
– Sharia Councils, on the other hand, claim to mediate on family issues but in practice often this differs little from arbitration: they frequently ask those appearing before them to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions; they call themselves courts, and the presiding imams, judges. Their decisions are then imposed and regarded as having the weight of legal judgements.
– There is neither control over the appointment of “judges” in Sharia Councils or Tribunals nor an independent mechanism for monitoring them. Clients often do not have access to legal advice and representation. The proceedings are not recorded, nor are there any searchable legal judgements, nor any real right of appeal.
– Sharia law cannot be compared to secular legal systems because it is considered sacred law that cannot be challenged. There is no scope to look at the interests of the individuals involved, as required by UK family law.
– These legal processes ignore both common law and due process, far less Human Rights, and provide little protection and safety for women in violent situations.
– There is a general assumption that those who attend Sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged in a British court. Many of the principles of Sharia law are contrary to British law and public policy, and would in theory therefore be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, however, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions, and may lack knowledge of English and their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a Sharia court can give rise to threats and intimidation, or at best being ostracised.
According to Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign and an author of the report, “The existence of a parallel legal system that is denying a large section of the British population their fundamental human rights is scandalous. Our findings show that it is essential to abolish all religious courts in the UK. Their very existence and legitimisation puts pressure on vulnerable women not to assert their civil rights in a British court. As long as Sharia Councils and Tribunals are allowed to continue to make rulings on issues of family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial to them and their children.”
The report recommends that Sharia courts be closed on the grounds that they work against rather than for equality, and are incompatible with human rights. Recommendations include:
- initiating a Human Rights challenge to Muslim Arbitration Tribunals and/or Sharia Councils
- amending the Arbitration Act under which the Muslim Arbitration Tribunals operate in a similar way to which the Canadian equivalent of the Arbitration Act was amended in 2005 to exclude religious arbitration
- launching a major and nationwide helpline and information campaign to inform people of their rights under British law
- proposing legislation under the EU Citizens Rights Initiative to address the issue EU-wide, and
- strengthening secularism and the separation of religion from the state, the judicial system and education, in order to more fully protect citizenship rights.
The full report can be downloaded here.
1. The report can be downloaded free of charge or a paperback copy purchased from One Law for All for £5.00 plus £2.00 Shipping and Handling. To purchase the book or donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque to our address below or pay via Paypal by visiting: Donate Page.
2. The One Law for All Campaign was launched on 10 December 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK Government to recognise that Sharia and religious courts are arbitrary and discriminatory against women and children in particular and that citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.
- One Law for All – NO SHARIA CAMPAIGN
- Sign the petition against Sharia Law here (almost 25,000 signatories at present)
This story has been covered by Michael Cross at the Law Society Gazette
Human rights test case call for sharia law
A ‘parallel’ system of justice based on Islamic law should face a test case under the Human Rights Act, a group campaigning against religious laws said this week.
The One Law for All Campaign called for a case to be initiated to determine whether Muslim arbitration tribunals and sharia councils are public authorities under the 1998 act. If found to be so, they would be prohibited from acting in any manner contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, according to the report Sharia Law in Britain.
The campaign group says the practice of sharia law falls short of accepted standards for the administration of justice.
Campaigners said the benign view that sharia justice in Britain deals only with mundane matters between consenting individuals is mistaken. ‘Sharia law is homophobic, sexist and anti-democratic,’ veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell alleged.
The report examines the operation of sharia councils, which provide mediation, and Muslim arbitration tribunals, whose findings are binding under the terms of the Arbitration Act 1996: ‘In sharia courts, there is neither control of the appointment of “judges” nor an independent mechanism for monitoring them. People often do not have access to legal advice and representation. The proceedings are not recorded, not are there any searchable legal judgments.’
The report also challenges the argument that sharia justice could free up the Courts Service and provide a cost-effective alternative to litigation. ‘Cuts in costs and expedited justice are likely to bring with them serious miscarriages of justice and human rights abuses,’ it says.
The campaign group calls for an amendment to the Arbitration Act to exclude religious arbitration, and for efforts to inform members of Muslim communities of their rights.
Meanwhile, in the USA, Act for America is gaining strength
And here an article titled ‘Islam Vs Our Laws’ says on Sharia law –
“Further, these laws and procedures are handed down by Allah through the Koran and Hadith. They aren’t just law, they are the law as ordained by god, which means that legal reform is a concept so utterly alien that you likely couldn’t explain it to a lifelong Muslim who had never visited or studied western cultures. The laws do not change; ever. To suggest that any component of Sharia law is in need of reform is tantamount to apostasy, and the punishment for that, by Sharia law, is death. Now, how does one integrate Sharia law with a country like the United states? Short answer, you don’t. To Muslims, there can be no compromise on the issue of Sharia. Being a Muslim and upholding Sharia law are inseparable on a fundamental level. After all, this is the law of god.”
Tags: 10000 dead bodies, Act For America, campaign, Galloway, Law Society Gazette, maryam namazie, no arrests for incitement, no sharia here, one law for all, police, press coverage nil, Sharia, sharia law, threat to Human Rights, westminster demo