Petition to end Sharia Courts

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Atheism

Please take a couple of seconds to click the link and sign the petition to end Sharia Courts in the UK

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/End_discriminatory_Sharia_court_system_in_the_UK/

Thanks.

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91 Responses to “Petition to end Sharia Courts”

  1. John Cave on October 26th, 2012 10:56 pm

    Religion boars me to tears ‘beyond belief’ I hate religion because of certain people who think they are right. Religion is a false belief as it is made a human. It’s just not Muslims and Christianity are falt, like fundamental. Religious people think they are so right that other beliefs have no part in this world. Secularism is our right as human beings, it was passed onto us by forefathers religious 300years ago, they new how religion would hold us back

  2. tookey2k on November 28th, 2012 11:38 pm

    Sharia Law in Britain is only binding if both/all parties involved in a dispute consent to them. It is an ‘opt in’ law.
    Whilst I am fully aware that Muslim women may be threatened with violence if they do not attend Sharia ‘courts’, that is not reason enough to outlaw them.

    How many people here are aware that Jewish courts exist here in the UK? Shall we end them too? Where is the petition?

  3. russell20 on November 29th, 2012 6:07 am

    “Whilst I am fully aware that Muslim women may be threatened with violence if they do not attend Sharia ‘courts’, that is not reason enough to outlaw them.”

    Really, why not ?

    What you are advocating is the continuation of religious privilege or the sit back and do nothing method that you are so fond of. Why not bring back the blasphemy laws and complete the job of allowing religion a special place in the legislative domain which it does not deserve and has not earned.

    And yes I did know about Jewish courts in the UK and no they have no place in the 21st century and should be banned.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7233040.stm

  4. Graham Martin-Royle on November 29th, 2012 10:11 am

    @tookey2k: There should be no special courts that are open only to certain sections of society based on their religion/culture. One law for all.

  5. tookey2k on November 29th, 2012 1:53 pm

    Intimidation to attend a Sharia court has nothing to do with the court itself Russell. These courts only settle domestic disputes where both parties are willing participants who want to settle their problems in a way which will be compliant with Islam. I don’t have a problem with that and neither should you if you believe we should live in a free society.
    And the law of the land still stands. Sharia courts do not openly break any UK laws and do not have any standing above the law in any way. Anyone can resolve their domestic disputes any way they like. In fact, it is PREFERABLE to resolve domestic disputes outside of the legal system.

  6. Graham Martin-Royle on November 29th, 2012 2:58 pm
  7. Stephen on November 29th, 2012 3:27 pm

    So, Sharia courts do not break any UK laws. Under Sharia law a women does not have the same rights as a man. I think that is a little contrary to the law of this land.

  8. Virtus83 on November 29th, 2012 4:16 pm

    Again tookey2k you seem to confuse reality with fantasy. You think if we all just get along and let anyone do anything to anyone else because it’s all free and happy and multi-cultural etc..etc..etc..Nonsense!! If I decided that pushing people off railway bridges was my way of worshipping the Railway God “Choo-Choo”, would you as a sane, law abiding citizen actually allow me to do so simply because I said it was necessary in order to fulfil my religious commitments to my God??? I would sincerely hope not!! Psychiatric therapy would be an absolute minimum for me!!
    Why then do we even entertain the ridiculous notions of the other religions, let alone the setting up of totalitarian theistic oppression courts (Sharia for short), in direct opposition to the Law of the United Kingdom. There is only, and can only be ONE law of the land, upheld by legally recognised representatives (MP’s), once again, VOTED for from amongst the people, by the people, to serve the interests of the people. I do not ever remember VOTING for some farcical, bronze age, sexist, backwards little side show being allowed to circumvent this nations hard fought and won modern FREE society.
    Remember tookey2k that FREEDOM is twinned with RESPONSIBILITY, you are accountable, to the LAW, for your own actions. Who is holding RELIGION accountable for it’s actions???…….ATHEISTS. Get off the fence mate!!

  9. russell20 on November 29th, 2012 9:19 pm

    tookey

    I see, so it is perfectly ok for women to be coerced in to attending these sham courts in the name of Islam, a mysoginistic and undemocratic religion, that seems to believe that it can operate it’s own legal framework. And it believes it can do so without any independent democratic scrutiny and you fail to see that as a threat to democracy. Words fail me. Oh and BTW I did notice the contradiction between your posts.

    ““Whilst I am fully aware that Muslim women may be threatened with violence if they do not attend Sharia courts’” and then you write………..

    “These courts only settle domestic disputes where both parties are willing participants”

    So which position do you wish to defend ?

    I actually do believe in a free society, unfortunately the muslim leadership do not and that is reflected in their treatment of women as second classs citizens forever subservient to their husbands.

    Wake up !!!!!!!!

  10. tookey2k on November 30th, 2012 3:44 am

    Russell (and everyone else who seems to be missing my point),

    Yes, Muslim women can be intimidated into attending Sharia courts, just as witnesses of serious crime can be intimidated to keep quiet, abstain from providing evidence, etc. Once again, the focus is on Sharia courts, as if Sharia courts are the only places where intimidation takes place. They aren’t! And anyway, this isn’t really my point.
    There are many ways to settle domestic disputes and difficulties and we can all decide on how we settle them. Marriage mediation, counseling of various types, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, etc.
    And yes, for Muslims – Sharia courts, because Sharia courts provide the religious guidance Muslims seem to require, from what they can eat to how they can dress. It’s all very antiquated and seems backwards to us, but we have no right to prevent consenting parties to allow themselves to resolve their issues outside of conventional courts, even if we don’t like it. How many people ‘settle out of court’ to prevent themselves from potentially going to prison? We may not like it, but if both parties come to an agreement then the court will acknowledge it and all is forgotten.

    Can I make quite clear that the presence of Sharia courts in Britain worries me, but there are many other things happening in our society that worry me too. None of you have presented a solid case for outlawing Sharia courts – it’s all speculation and paranoia. If people are coerced into attending a Sharia court then it is, sadly, out of our hands unless those people come forward and make a complaint to the police. Just like the many abused women across the whole of society who are too scared to report a rape, physical abuse, and so on. It’s sad, but there is nothing we can do to help them if they don’t come forward.

    If the twin towers had not been attacked back in September 2001 and Muslim extremism was largely unheard of, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But because we now take Muslims seriously (they’re not just harmless foreigners who dress in funny clothes) and seem to think all Muslims are potential killers, we are up in arms about the establishing of Sharia courts. Forget the Jews – they’re harmless!!! Ha ha! They can have their courts, but NOT MUSLIMS!!!

    >> “I actually do believe in a free society, unfortunately the muslim leadership do not and that is reflected in their treatment of women as second classs citizens forever subservient to their husbands.” <<
    But how do we differentiate between the women who are WILLINGLY subservient, and those who are not? To get your way, you can only take away the willing participants right to be subservient, and that would go against the grain of any fair society.
    And that is my point – in a free society people are free to live their lives the way they want within the law. If you take away Sharia Law you take away a Muslim's right to settle their disputes in accordance with Islam. How can anyone with sound mind dispute that?

  11. Stephen on November 30th, 2012 4:53 am

    We are not missing your point, we just dont agree with you.
    I do not think all muslims are killers and I doubt anyone else here does but it is convenient for you to accuse us of that. It has been noted and even admitted by members of the islamic community that sharia courts have overstepped their boundaries and they dont always just deal with domestic disputes.
    No society is perfect or totally free and never will be. However, we should strive to make it as free as possible and limiting sharia is needed to do this. It will cause a lot more freedom than it impinges on others freedom.
    I do not know why you are even on this site as your atheism is totally questionable, you dont believe in a god but act as an apologist for every religion going and you bang on with cultural relativism philosphies with the zeal of a religionist.
    Accept the fact, you will not convince us as we all think you are talking shit. I do not usually get abusive with people but after reading the yards of tripe you have turned out cannot see the point in beaing civil.
    The free society you talk about is actually anarchy, where everyone does what they want and bugger the consequences. The simple fact is that to protect everyone we have to have laws and some of those laws may appear to impinge on certain freedoms. But it is better to have a few restrictions in a unified system than allow the total freedom you speak of where every group can do what they want.
    You also miss the mark when you say we only talk about sharia, we are all concerned with any human rights violation carried out, whatever the reason behind it, you just like to claim we only address one issue.
    However, there may be a clue to why there is so much talk of sharia in this thread. It is because it is in response to an article and petition on sharia. Is that really so difficult to grasp you thick twat.

  12. russell20 on November 30th, 2012 6:21 am

    Let’s make this as crystal clear as I possibly can. I am opposed to relgious courts from any religion, why might this be so ? Well, who the hell gave an Imam or a poxy Rabbi or Priest to pontificate on the lives of those who have been forced to appear before them. And whose only qualification for passing judgement is a supernatural belief in an imaginary god.

    “But how do we differentiate between the women who are WILLINGLY subservient, and those who are not?”

    Willingly subservient, and this would’nt be you speculating of course, perish the thought eh !!!

    It is the culture of subservience created by religion that is the problem. When as a woman you are taught that you are inferior to men and it is only men that can settle disputes, men that take the lead in the home and every area of your life and you must obey. This then creates the reality of male domination and there is the problem.

    As for this cultural relativism bollox or it’s” just their way” is not acceptable, and as you have been worrying your little head about the idea that atheism could not lead to a democratic system of govt. It is undemocratic thats why people here oppose sharia and any other form of religious court.

  13. tookey2k on November 30th, 2012 12:05 pm

    Well,I can see I’m hitting the spot. “thick twat” I haven’t heard that phrase for a long time!

    Am I really speculating on women being ‘willingly subservient’? I know many women who are so. I live in the East Midlands and mix with many Muslims and Sikhs and I know their culture well. Being subservient isn’t all about being abused. It does, however, open the door to those who wish to abuse, but they are quite rare. My grandmother was willingly subservient. The wife of a friend of mine is happily subservient. But I also know men who are subservient. And they are happy being so too. It depends on the individual.

    >>”I do not know why you are even on this site as your atheism is totally questionable, you dont believe in a god but act as an apologist for every religion going and you bang on with cultural relativism philosphies with the zeal of a religionist”<<

    Atheism is not about taking positions on morality or collectively ganging up on those whose practices we don't agree with – unlike theists. Yes, we can individually speak out against aspects of society we don't like or agree with (and there are many), but if we decide someone isn't an true atheist simply because they stick up for the rights of theists, then we are sliding down a slippery pole to 'organized atheism', and we wouldn't want that, would we? Or maybe you would.

  14. Stephen on November 30th, 2012 4:01 pm

    No I would not, however, organized cultural realtivism would be far worse and that is what you are heading towards.
    I still question the atheism of someone is so willing an apologist for all religions. You quoted Hitchens a while back, I assume you ignore his stuff on not atheist but anti-thiest.
    Oddly enough a great many of us mix with people of varying cultures, so your moral high-ground tone on that matter is another pointless gesture.
    Accept the fact that you will not convince us. Have you ever looked at the list of countries that openly quote cultural-relativism as part of their defence of poor human rights standards, it includes China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan and most islamic countries that impose sharia. What nice company you keep.

  15. russell20 on November 30th, 2012 10:11 pm

    “The wife of a friend of mine is happily subservient. But I also know men who are subservient. And they are happy being so too. It depends on the individual.”

    No s..t Sherlock, and what about those women (I highly doubt that you know many if indeed any willingly subservient muslim men) that are not “willingly ” subservient and yet are forced to live in a male dominated society and then forced to endure the judgement meted out by men via poxy sharia “courts”.

    So far you have failed to address the rights of those women.

  16. russell20 on November 30th, 2012 10:34 pm

    tookey

    Unfortunately individual anecdotes do not pass muster as evidence. So until you produce some evidence to the contrary I am still going to claim speculation on your part re “willingly subservient” women.

    Why don’t you take some time out and read through the links provided to you by Graham Martin Royle. Maybe then you will see why Sharia is anti-women and men.

  17. Virtus83 on November 30th, 2012 10:42 pm

    @tookey2k:

    Atheism = Against Theism.

    “but if we decide someone isn’t an true atheist simply because they stick up for the rights of theists”

    This makes them an apologist and NOT an Atheist. Maybe even a closet Deist or perhaps or a bullshitting agnostic at a stretch.

    The terms “willingly”, and “subservient” are NOT compatible!! If one is subservient then it is not through that individuals personal choice, but through imposed circumstances outside of their control. Who in their right mind would actively seek to be a practical slave to anyone else if they had the slightest say about it???? Oh sorry, I forgot we were talking about the free and democratic religion of Islam that garners universal credit for its equality and progressive modern approach to society!! In that case bring on the United Sharia Nations…..anyone got a burkah??

    If I set up my own little court house and started Don Corleone style dishing out the punishments and praises as I saw fit, you bet your confused ass the LAW would be round to shut me down pronto, unless of course I had a beard, a loudspeaker and a tall minarette to demand obedience of the entire community!!

  18. russell20 on November 30th, 2012 11:24 pm

    Tookey

    Just in case you decide to ignore Grahans link’s I will post the link to the “One law for All ” report again

    http://goo.gl/v5qI

    And from the report why I and eveyone else here (apart from you of course) oppose Sharia “law”………..

    “- 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.”

    Now do you fu..ing get it.

  19. tookey2k on December 1st, 2012 3:31 am

    Virtus83,

    Your points are the easiest to answer so I’ll reply to you first:

    Atheist does NOT equate to “Against Theism” – That’s an “Anti-theist”. The clue was in Stephen’s last post. You’re obviously in the wrong forum and I now understand why I have riled you so much.

    >>”The terms “willingly”, and “subservient” are NOT compatible!! If one is subservient then it is not through that individuals personal choice, but through imposed circumstances outside of their control.”<<

    All religious people are, to a greater or lesser extent, subservient. They are 'willingly' subservient to their gods.
    I went to a gig at a club in Angel Islington, London earlier this year and saw a man on all fours with a dog collar around his neck being 'walked' by a dominatrix! Now, if that is not "willing subservient", I don't know what is.

    (Just for the record: I am not into that kind of stuff :O))

  20. tookey2k on December 1st, 2012 3:50 am

    Russell,

    >>”I still question the atheism of someone is so willing an apologist for all religions. You quoted Hitchens a while back, I assume you ignore his stuff on not atheist but anti-thiest.”<>”Oddly enough a great many of us mix with people of varying cultures, so your moral high-ground tone on that matter is another pointless gesture.”<<

    But we're talking about Sharia Law here and so I ask anyone to come forward and talk about their experiences with their local Muslim community and why Sharia courts should be outlawed. At least in that respect, I DO have the "moral high-ground".

  21. tookey2k on December 1st, 2012 3:55 am

    That last post went wrong somehow:

    ”I still question the atheism of someone is so willing an apologist for all religions. You quoted Hitchens a while back, I assume you ignore his stuff on not atheist but anti-thiest.”

    You underestimate my knowledge of Hitchens. He was an anti-theist full-stop. He likened following religion to North Korea. I’m surprised he ever got his American citizenship!

    ”Oddly enough a great many of us mix with people of varying cultures, so your moral high-ground tone on that matter is another pointless gesture.”

    But we’re talking about Sharia Law here and so I ask anyone to come forward and talk about their experiences with their local Muslim community and why Sharia courts should be outlawed. At least in that respect, I DO have the “moral high-ground”.

  22. tookey2k on December 1st, 2012 4:31 am

    Russell, (this should have shown up in the middle)

    I did read the link Graham posted.

    If you click on the “About” link on the ‘One Law For All’ website, I don’t see anything about ending Jewish courts or any other religious courts that might be out there.

    Why should I give any credence to such a website when it is so blatantly blinkered to all the other forms of religious activity? It’s pathetic and stinks of ignorance!

    As we atheists keep demanding evidence from theists for the proof of god’s existence, shouldn’t we, respectively, also take the burden of proof when it comes to claiming that Sharia courts are in any way damaging to our society?

  23. Stephen on December 1st, 2012 6:05 am

    I did not say I underestmated your knowledge of Hitchens, I suggested you ignored part of his writings.
    I assume the time I spent sharing a room with a muslim friend at college and discussing various religions, including my own atheism, does not count for knowledge about muslims and their customs. For the record, he considered sharia a bit like communism, a good idea but easily perverted when the wrong people enfoced it and overall was against the idea. Those are the words of someone from an islamic background and who believed in allah, not mine. So your moral high-ground is still an idle boast.
    I do not dispute you live and work with those you mention but dont write us off either. Try teaching EFL and not getting involved with other cultures.
    I could, if I could be bothered, dig up quite a bit about sharia courts but as you would ignore it there is little point. All I will say is that a judicial system which allows the use of “Judges knowledge”, which is a euphamism for opinion, is not one I think acceptable.

  24. russell20 on December 1st, 2012 11:39 am

    tookey

    “If you click on the “About” link on the ‘One Law For All’ website, I don’t see anything about ending Jewish courts or any other religious courts that might be out there. ”

    There is a very obvious reason for that the report is referring to sharia, and again you offer nothing in response except yet more pointless obfuscation . I don’t give a rat’s arse what the jewish courts are up to in this context., as WE are discussing sharia.If you have evidence about the harmful effects that jewish courts have on hassidic communities present it, start a thread in tne forum and we can all discuss it.

    “All religious people are, to a greater or lesser extent, subservient. They are ‘willingly’ subservient to their gods”

    There is I would suggest a difference between praising an imaginary god and finding yourself in a violent relationshp in the real world and finding that your only recourse is a religious court. Which then upholds a husbands “right” to beat his wife bcause it say’s so in the bloody koran.

    “I went to a gig at a club in Angel Islington, London earlier this year and saw a man on all fours with a dog collar around his neck being ‘walked’ by a dominatrix! Now, if that is not “willing subservient”, I don’t know what is.”

    More pointless anecdotes and obfuscation, and you have still not addressded the rights of women that are not “willinlgly subservient” and yet you still expect us to take you seriously.

  25. russell20 on December 1st, 2012 1:32 pm

    tookey

    “As we atheists keep demanding evidence from theists for the proof of god’s existence, shouldn’t we, respectively, also take the burden of proof when it comes to claiming that Sharia courts are in any way damaging to our society?”

    So you actually believe that it is desirable to have a religious court that operates outside of any independent scrutiny. Which then passes judgement based on a magic book and does so without any right of appeal, that is the reality of sharia.

    Moreover, what is this “our society”, If we allow religious courts to opreate then any attempt at real inclusiveness will be undermined by creating a 2 tier system which allows religion a special and undeserved place within an already flawed judicial system.

  26. Virtus83 on December 2nd, 2012 2:36 pm

    @tookey2k

    I accept I did not state the “literal definition” of Atheism correctly but as a ‘modus operandi’ if you do not believe in God’s etc…but do not challenge them when confronted, what are you?? An Apologist!! Atheism / Anti-theism, it basically comes down to one fact, are you going to do something about it or not! My feeling is that if you do not challenge the religious then you are merely “indifferent” of religion. Apathy (not doing anything), is the greatest threat to any challenged freedoms of society. So my point is, can one really call yourself an Atheist and NOT be against religion?? I say NO!!

    Your little ditty about leather clad creeps does not make you’re statement credible. You are describing “sexually motivated perversion”. He gets whatever odd kick out of doing it because he is “free” to do so. Black slaves in 18th century plantations were subservient, but would you actually tell me they were “willing”??

    This is a very serious matter because it calls into question the very basis of what we call freedom.

    Willingly:- “readily; of one’s own free will”

    Subservient:- “prepared to obey others unquestioningly”

    Specifically on individuals:- “less important / subordinate”.

    Your point stated that “All religious people are, to a greater or lesser extent, subservient. They are ‘willingly’ subservient to their gods”

    Anyone who is coerced into an agreement through FEAR and the THREAT of VIOLENCE, cannot in any way be seen as “Willingly” taking part! This is called oppression!! I’m sure I heard somewhere that if you don’t do what GOD tells you to do (Dictatorship), that you will personally be punished for your supposed CRIMES against god. There is NO room for FREE WILL in there, and this makes any attempt at suggesting willingness as morally disingenuous.

    My second point is that subservience requires an “unquestioning” acceptance of the current state of affairs. We would not be having a discussion about Sharia Courts unless at least 1 person had voiced an opinion “questioning” the practises of these so called courts. You have been provided with more than enough evidence by my learned colleagues to show you that A LOT of questioning is taking place!!

    My third and final point. Women are indeed classified as lesser than men, even below the status of livestock in some of the more tribal oriented Islamic regions. Again I ask you who would “willingly” allow themselves to be labelled and treated as a “lesser” individual. Sexism outlaws this as discrimination against women, racism outlaws ethnic discrimination. WHY is it okay for a backwards, oppressive regime to suddenly decide not to pay attention to the LAWS and FREEDOMS of this country, without being brought to account?? Religious pandering and spineless cultural relativism, that’s why!!

    And on a personal note, I am in EXACTLY the right forum because people like you would make such a pigs ear of defending people’s freedoms, especially from the religiosity, and it worries me that you can hear the words you are speaking, yet still agree with what you’re actually saying!! That’s what riles me pal!!

  27. tookey2k on December 3rd, 2012 1:40 am

    Virtus,
    I appreciate you have taken time to reply at great length, but you won’t get a lengthy reply in return. I think the others here can also see where you are going wrong and you may be letting the side down a bit.

    Russell,
    Again, you are associating Sharia courts with domestic violence. They are very separate issues, unless you have evidence to the contrary. Also, you are treading on dangerous ground if you are implying that Sharia courts promote violence against innocent persons in the eyes of British law.

    I would expect a website named “One Law for All” to have petitions against all institutions that appear to have their own law outside of the establishment. Sharia courts do not lay down the law. Sharia Law in Britain is kind of misleading – it should be termed ‘Sharia Rules’. There’s a big difference.

    Stephen,
    “I could, if I could be bothered, dig up quite a bit about sharia courts but as you would ignore it there is little point. All I will say is that a judicial system which allows the use of “Judges knowledge”, which is a euphamism for opinion, is not one I think acceptable.”

    If you had anything startling to show regarding Sharia courts I’m sure you could have whipped it up within seconds, so don’t accuse me of being the ignorant one here!

  28. Stephen on December 3rd, 2012 2:54 am

    Why not, I believe in freedom of speech and think you are ignorant.
    I note you ignore the views of my Libyan friend, who also lived for a while in Saudi, so has quite a close knolwedge of sharia.
    I still say you are nothing more than an apologist, overlooking what is an odious system. Should sharia take the step of treating women as equal to men I might consider it, until then no and anyone who believes in human rights should think the same.

  29. russell20 on December 3rd, 2012 10:16 am

    tookey

    You have had the evidence presented to you and you have chosen to ignore it as per -usual.

    “Also, you are treading on dangerous ground if you are implying that Sharia courts promote violence against innocent persons in the eyes of British law.”

    I am not doing that the poxy koran does. You have not presented anything except pointless anecdotes in defence of sharia “law” ( you can dig up whatever euphemism you like) you have not addressed any of the point’s raised by “One Law for All”. Instead you have blathered on about jewish courts about which you have not produced one damn thing. In fact the only link to information about them came from me !!!!!!!!!

    You have all the hallmarks of the ” I’m an atheist but-head” and until you start to address the issues raised by the people here and “One Law for All” this conversation is over.

    Below is a link to a page which shows the koranic view of women. Try reading through it whilst keeping in mind that shara law is based upon the koran.

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/women/long.html

  30. russell20 on December 3rd, 2012 11:51 am
  31. russell20 on December 3rd, 2012 11:56 am

    And as you have chosen to ignore the information contained in the link to an article aout jewish courts in the UK here it is again,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7233040.stm

    Perhaps now you can try to adress the issue at hand which is sharia law in the UK

  32. russell20 on December 3rd, 2012 12:01 pm

    “Again, you are associating Sharia courts with domestic violence. They are very separate issues”

    Really ?

    “Also, you are treading on dangerous ground if you are implying that Sharia courts promote violence against innocent persons in the eyes of British law.”

    I see. From the IKWRO web site

    “IKWRO has evidence of both direct and indirect discrimination against women by bodies which offer Islamic divorce services. Such discrimination is in breach of the Equality Act 2010, and IKWRO has also identified conflicts with the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Children Act 1989 and the Human Rights Act 1998. We are also concerned that by allowing for the application of Sharia Law within this country, the UK may be in breach of its obligations under Article 16 of the UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW), which requires signatories to take all necessary steps to end discrimination against women and girls in relation to marriage and family life.”

    http://ikwro.org.uk/campaigns/sharia-law-in-the-uk/

  33. Virtus83 on December 3rd, 2012 8:16 pm

    @tookey2k

    I do not take kindly to being dismissed off-hand and without ANY reason or constructive criticism being given!! If you disagree, state why!!

    “Virtus,
    I appreciate you have taken time to reply at great length, but you won’t get a lengthy reply in return. I think the others here can also see where you are going wrong and you may be letting the side down a bit.”

    I would suggest you provide me with reasons why you disagree with my previous statements, all of which are valid, and why all of a sudden you speak for the rest of this forum!! It is quite plain to see from the running comments that if the side is being let down by anyone my good man, IT IS YOU!!

    @FORUM
    I would however appreciate that if anyone in this discussion has a suggestion / advice perhaps, on the comments I have made then please feel free to make them clear. I am here to learn as much as state my own opinion, and any such wisdom is only a benefit to the listener.

    Thank You.

  34. russell20 on December 3rd, 2012 9:27 pm

    @ tookey

    Re Virtus83 I have no idea what you are wittering on about and suspect that your questioning of his post is yet another attempt to divert the debate. So please at least try to stay on topic. Just In case you have forgotten, the topic is Sharia Law and not “beth din ” jewish courts.

  35. tookey2k on December 4th, 2012 4:49 am

    Russell,

    You quote from the IKWRO website a ‘concern’ that Sharia Law in Britain will bring with it all the evils of Sharia Law as is practiced in backward Muslim countries. I say “backward” because that is what they are! But that is not ‘evidence’ that Sharia courts in Britain are imposing the same kind of misery.

    “So please at least try to stay on topic. Just In case you have forgotten, the topic is Sharia Law and not “beth din ” jewish courts.”

    The topic is “Petition to end Sharia Courts [in the UK]“.

    If you’re naive enough to think that our government could outlaw Sharia courts without swinging a huge scythe through every corner of society, you need to do some swotting and learn about the implications of imposing knee-jerk reactionary laws! That’s why I brought into the conversation Jewish courts – they too would be open to question and they too would be quashed! So why are Jewish courts off topic?
    It would require the state to take control of all forms of counseling, rehabilitation, mediation, etc, etc etc…. and that would go against all of our values.

    This is the last I am going to say on this matter – The presence of Sharia courts in our society is a symptom of freedom of religion and human rights. We may not like it, but we have to put up with it.

  36. russell20 on December 4th, 2012 6:59 am

    @ tookey

    “This is the last I am going to say on this matter”

    Well, as you brought nothing to the conversation, except, obfuscation, pointless anecdotes and nonsense you obviously made up on the spot, you won’t be missed. I will address the rest of your piffle later.

  37. Graham Martin-Royle on December 4th, 2012 10:54 am

    This is the last I am going to say on this matter

    Good, because you don’t really have anything to say apart from a few ad-hom attacks on those trying to educate you.

    Re;Beth din Jewish courts, I would be in favour of their banning as well but this thread is about Sharia courts. These courts have already encroached into areas that are outside their remit and are trying to impose what you describe as “backward” misery. This is enough reason to ban them.

  38. russell20 on December 4th, 2012 4:26 pm

    @ tookey

    “You quote from the IKWRO website a ‘concern’ that Sharia Law in Britain will bring with it all the evils of Sharia Law as is practiced in backward Muslim countries”

    No, what the quote is saying is very simple (even then you managed to mis-read it) and it is this. Sharia courts are already breaking the law here. Something which you have less than skillfully managed to avoid addressing.

    ” But that is not ‘evidence’ that Sharia courts in Britain are imposing the same kind of misery”

    Granted, that may be the case at the moment. However, that is not the point . The issue is a quasi-legal court which is already ignoring and flouting established equality legislation. And is underpinned by a misogynistic religion which can and does disrciiminate against women. And it does all of this without any independent scrutiny of any and all of it’s actions. Which are other issues you chose not to address.

    “That’s why I brought into the conversation Jewish courts – they too would be open to question and they too would be quashed! So why are Jewish courts off topic?”

    Total and utter crap. You have used the issue of jewish courts in order to avoid addressing any of the criticisms of sharia. In fact you refused to answer any of the critiicisms from “One Law for All” because in their report on sharia law in the UK they failed to mention jewish courts, the mind boggles. In fact you claimed their site “stinks of ignorance” very nice. I’m sure the ex-muslims involved with “One Law for All” would appreciate being referred to as ignorant from someone that refuses to answer their criticisms of sharia law in the UK for the flimsiest of reasons.

    “If you’re naive enough to think that our government could outlaw Sharia courts without swinging a huge scythe through every corner of society”

    If you do decide to come back could you please explain why this would be the case. Here’s a clue for you made up BS will not suffice.

    “The presence of Sharia courts in our society is a symptom of freedom of religion and human rights. We may not like it, but we have to put up with it.”

    Total nonsense it is a symptom of the arrogance or relgion demanding a special and undeserved for itself ,where it get’s to totally ignore legislation which apllies to everyone else

  39. Virtus83 on December 4th, 2012 7:56 pm

    @forum
    Thanks for the vote of confidence gentlemen. For a moment there I thought tookey2k had actually made some sense and I was drifting into mental oblivion!!

    @tookey2k

    You are starting to sound increasingly like a defensive creationist in the way you create you’re own obscure “truths” from the evidence against Sharia, and then somehow reverse logic that same evidence to make excuses and defend Sharia????

    Are you actually AGAINST Sharia courts or not??

    They are not LEGALLY recognised, therefore they are ILLEGAL!! However….because they are under the remit of a religious organisation, it’s a touchy feely grey area!! Any other organisation pulling a stunt like this would be frog marched to jail, no passing go and no £200!

    @Forum
    Does the British government / Home office, have anything in motion against this or even register it as an issue requiring legislation?? I know the Lords had something on this, but then how useful are those fancy dress windbags!!

    Thanks.

  40. russell20 on December 4th, 2012 8:48 pm

    @ Virtus83

    Could the following be what you are referring to re the lords. From the IKWRO website……..

    “In June 2011 Baroness Cox of the House of Lords released a private member’s bill which seeks to subject all bodies applying religious law to the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act. The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill also proposed to make it a criminal offence for bodies involved in private mediation or arbitration to claim a remit in relation to family or criminal law.”

    On this occasion it was the govt that has not endorsed the bill despte the bill having passed it’s customary 2 readings in the HofL.

  41. Stephen on December 4th, 2012 8:55 pm

    There is also this from October: http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2012/10/peers-call-for-action-over-religious-courts

    Overwhelming support apart from Udin and the Bishops bench, what a surprise.

  42. russell20 on December 4th, 2012 9:07 pm

    @ Virtus83

    Re your question about Hm govt and sharia law I have a link to an interesting article in the consevative tome “The Spectator” in which they claim Cameron and co have kicked the issue of sharia law in to the long grass. Which follows their refusal to endorse the Cox private members bill.

    So it would appear that they are not about to do very much re the sharia law issue.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/douglas-murray/2012/10/the-government-kicks-the-sharia-debate-into-the-long-grass/

  43. Virtus83 on December 6th, 2012 5:06 pm

    @ russell20 & stephen

    Thanks for the links fellas, I think I saw the article from the spectator you posted the other day and it was quite a shock for me to read, the last quotes from it especially where the Lords effectively suggested that government wouldn’t give it the time of day!!!

    I really don’t like David Cameron’s attitude towards this area of policy, he constantly sidesteps any religious or dare I say it “cultural”, multi or otherwise, issues that are simply in breach of at least 1 if not a number of existing laws!! However, as per usual, religious freedoms must be constantly extended that little bit further for the ever increasing “lebensraum” of Islam.

    Two of the Lords categorically agreed with Cox and made it pretty clear that the subversive little system “Muslim Arbitration Tribunals” I believe he called them, is the framework in which Sharia is being steamrollered into communities, against the law!!! Why is this not being pursued in the REAL courts to jail these farcical little interlopers???

    Is there anything outside of petitions that can be done, my local MP is Islamic and at the risk of sounding religionist, multicultural-againstist or any other ist, I don’t have much “faith” that a letter of demand will be given much due attention.

    I think tookey2k actually read your link (for a change), and realised he was in fact talking out of his naive arse!!

  44. tookey2k on December 7th, 2012 5:58 am

    Russell,

    “No, what the quote is saying is very simple (even then you managed to mis-read it) and it is this. Sharia courts are already breaking the law here. Something which you have less than skillfully managed to avoid addressing.”

    I am addressing it! Where is the EVIDENCE? YOU are the one not addressing the issue!

    “Total and utter crap. You have used the issue of jewish courts in order to avoid addressing any of the criticisms of sharia…”

    No no no!!! YOU have avoided the issue of Jewish courts! Sharia and Jewish courts may very well be completely different – one evil and one nice and smelling of roses.
    But they are BOTH potentially dangerous/stupid/harmless/misguided/etc and based on religious dogma! How can you outlaw Sharia courts and not Jewish courts without being held accountable by the Equality Commission?

    If we’re going to be level headed and fair citizens, we need to see the underlying fault – and as atheists the underlying fault is religion.

    Now, I don’t care which religion is more evil than the other, but if we pick on just one we lose all credibility. I have been away for a few days and it’s depressing to see the same few faces on my return – I was hoping to see some new faces add to the discussion. But then this website does seem to be sparsely populated. Not surprising, really.

  45. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 9:13 am

    tookey

    I thought you said you were going. Ah well, back with the same old crap I see. You have been provided with enough links with information on sharia law I see no point in providing more as you obviously don’t read them.

    As for jewish courts (still nothing posted about them by you I see) ban them as well I don’t have a problem with that.

    However, until you actually do start adressing the evidence presented to you this conversation is over.

  46. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 9:45 am

    “If we’re going to be level headed and fair citizens, we need to see the underlying fault – and as atheists the underlying fault is religion.”

    No s..t Sherlock

  47. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 10:09 am

    “Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and NO RELIGIOUS COURTS.”

    Maryam Namazie socal activist and spokesperson for “One Law For All” (my emphasis above BTW)

    I have posted the link to the above statement before, if you had read it you should be able to find it and read it again. So why don’t you do that. As in the link you will find the relevant criticisms of sharia law and links to the evidence that you claim does not exist.

  48. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 10:37 am

    “. I have been away for a few days and it’s depressing to see the same few faces on my return – I was hoping to see some new faces add to the discussion. But then this website does seem to be sparsely populated. Not surprising, really.”

    I see you still favour ad homs. Why don’t you try addressing the arguments posted here and in the links provided, before you indulge in insulting the people here and this website.

  49. Virtus83 on December 7th, 2012 2:45 pm

    tookey

    If you are such an advocate for Atheism what the f**k are you doing making excuses for a religious dictatorship movement, insulting and criticising Atheists and the website provided for Atheist discussion??????

    russell20 has made it quite clear that he is against ALL religious parallel courts, as are all Atheists for that matter obviously, but this forum is SPECIFICALLY about SHARIA courts as an example of these parallel false legal systems, because the Islamic version is by far the most prevalent and intrusive on national law!!!

    Oh, and I notice you didn’t back up your previous spineless dismissal of my refutation concerning you’re rather naive world view on my earlier posts. Not to worry, ignorance of fact is proof of stupidity. Nuff said!!

  50. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 2:51 pm

    Just in case you actually decide to read any of the links I have provided I have decided to relent and post one more and it is to the actual full report from “One Law for All”

    http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/New-Report-Sharia-Law-in-Britain_fixed.pdf

    The following is the opening statement…………

    “The One Law for All campaign was launched on 10 September 2008, International Human Rights Day, to call on the UK to recognise that Sharia and RELGIOUS COURTS (my emphasis) are arbitrary and discriminatory abainst women and children in particular and that HUMAN RIGHTS (my emphasis) and citizenship are non-negotiable. The Campaign aims to end SHARIA AND ALL RELIGIOUS COURTS (again my emphasis) on the basis that they work against, and not for, equality and human rights”

    Just that one statement shows that the campaign encompasses all forms of relgious court which obviously would include jewish courts. Read it the evidence that sharia is harmful to the communities it purports to represnt is in there.

    If you expect this conversation to elevate itself anove the base elements of ad homs, point out to me what you disagree with, (and why you disagree,) in the report also why in your opinion it does not constitute evidence of the growing and malign influence of Sharia law.

  51. russell20 on December 7th, 2012 10:55 pm

    “If we’re going to be level headed and fair citizens, we need to see the underlying fault – and as atheists the underlying fault is religion.”

    I see and what would constitute an effective challenge to the perception of religious authority ?. Could it be challenging the”right” of any and all relgious denominations to establish quasi- parallel legal systems that are beyond acceptable democratic control. Would that be a good place to start ?

  52. tookey2k on December 17th, 2012 5:03 am

    Russell,

    [In the link you posted last] The heading reads: “SHARIA LAW IN BRITAIN – A THREAT TO ONE LAW FOR ALL & EQUAL RIGHTS”.

    What it says in the ‘small print’ is secondary! What the heading SHOULD say is: “RELIGIOUS LAW IN BRITAIN – A THREAT TO ONE LAW FOR ALL & EQUAL RIGHTS”

    Whilst I agree with the statement about Sharia Law, the fact that the website is biased against one religion discredits it beyond any serious political debate and it becomes a magnet for extremism. It’s basically a good idea turned sour by it’s own frustrated founders.

  53. russell20 on December 17th, 2012 10:51 am

    Now you are splitting hairs in the hope that that will invalidate the report, well that won’t wash I’m afraid, the report explicitly opposes all religious courts, whilst using sharia as an example. Probably because sharia courts are the most active.

    “Whilst I agree with the statement about Sharia Law, the fact that the website is biased against one religion ”

    No it opposes the arrogance of that religions leadership who think they have the right to pontificate and pass judgement on others based only upon their belief in a particular deity.

  54. tookey2k on December 17th, 2012 12:30 pm

    I’m trying to point out that it is the legalities of outlawing Sharia Law in Britain that will do the hair splitting – not me. To have a serious debate on this subject One Law for All will need to demonstrate they are not biased in any way, but their website clearly pushes Sharia Law to the front of stage.

    Believe me Russell, I am on your side here. I know you don’t like what I say but I am tired of all the years of venting my own frustrations only to realise that all that does is alienate those I am trying to influence, and have come to the conclusion that stepping back for a moment and taking a deep breath works wonders. One also gets to see things more clearly. We have to remember we live in a free society and sometimes that means we have to put up with things we don’t like simply because of those freedoms. I don’t like the presence of Sharia Law in Britain any more than you do, but we have to abide by the rules that give us our own freedoms.

  55. russell20 on December 17th, 2012 12:58 pm

    ” I don’t like the presence of Sharia Law in Britain any more than you do, but we have to abide by the rules that give us our own freedoms.”

    But that is the whole point, the existence of religious courts subverts those freedoms by acting outside of the existing justice system and they do so without any regard to any established law. Thus it can be agrued that they act illegally and if that is found to be the case then that provides sufficient grounds for closing them down.

  56. tookey2k on December 19th, 2012 3:28 am

    We seem to be going around in circles. I think you’re missing my point – that Sharia Courts in Britain do not break any British laws because they only deal in domestic affairs. They cannot send anyone to prison, for example.

    If there is any evidence of British Sharia Courts breaking any British laws, then you need to tell me (more importantly – the police!). The terms ‘Sharia Courts’ and ‘Sharia Law’ are misleading, because they are not officially ‘courts’, and it isn’t officially a ‘law’.

    Also, I think you will find that it is the older non-English speaking Muslim generation who use these courts, simply because there is a language barrier between them and the British legal system. This is where the problem lies – if a Muslim woman does not know her rights as a British citizen, she will most likely obey the Sharia Court’s judgement and act accordingly.
    With this in mind, I think Sharia Courts will eventually die out with the older generation that uses them, although this is not much comfort to those currently on the receiving end of injustice.

    Then you have to think about why a Muslim man would even bother to attend a Sharia Court with his wife if she doesn’t speak English and is socially isolated anyway?

    Anyway, I found this link: http://www.lawyerssecularsociety.org/default.asp?sectid=394

  57. russell20 on December 19th, 2012 5:44 am

    Ok tookey

    I followed your link I believe you need to re-read point 5, points 6 and 7 (sub-headings a-e) points 9 and 10 ( which points out the difference between sharia and beth-din) and in particular point 11.

    If you had followed any of the links provided by people here you would not need to do so of course as all the criticisms in the report you have linked to were presented in the previous links presented to you.

    Therefore going round and round or not the critics position on sharia stands I’m afraid.

  58. russell20 on December 19th, 2012 6:13 am

    tookey

    And of course point 8 forgot that one

  59. Graham Martin-Royle on December 19th, 2012 10:23 am

    That’s the point though tookey, sharia courts ARE encroaching where they shouldn’t, they are dealing with criminal cases that they shouldn’t touch. This was all pointed out in the links I provided earlier.

  60. russell20 on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

    @ tookey

    You wrote ……..

    “We seem to be going around in circles. I think you’re missing my point – that Sharia Courts in Britain do not break any British laws because they only deal in domestic affairs. They cannot send anyone to prison, for example.”

    We already know this tookey, and you also know that no-one here is suggesting they can imprison anyone. However, it is the inherent bias against women (based on islamic principles which sharia courts must adhere to) which underpin sharia courts “judgement” on domestic issues, It is this that contravenes established UK equality legislation thus they are acting illegaly.

    All of this should be familiar to you as they are points raised previously by myself and everyone else here (except you of course) They are also points raised in the all of the links provided to you. Why not read through them instead of merely dismissing them.

    You furtther wrote…………..

    “Also, I think you will find that it is the older non-English speaking Muslim generation who use these courts”

    How do you know this ? please provide some evidence.

  61. tookey2k on December 21st, 2012 5:29 am

    Graham,

    I did look at the links you posted. I didn’t see anything that suggested British Sharia courts were dealing with criminal cases. Can you actually specify the exact location of the texts you are are referring to?

    Russell,

    “However, it is the inherent bias against women (based on islamic principles which sharia courts must adhere to) which underpin sharia courts “judgement” on domestic issues, It is this that contravenes established UK equality legislation thus they are acting illegaly.”

    Like I keep on (banging my head against a brick wall) telling you; this is what is known as ‘religious freedom’. The fact that ALL religion (not just Islam) is sexist matters not a jot! If people want to believe in that sh*t, then they have every right to! – including women and homosexuals!!!

    IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO BE WRONG!!!

    Now, your argument about Muslim women (because we’re not talking about any other poor souls, are we?) being FORCED into participating in a religion they neither believe in, nor want to believe in, is against the law.

    ““Also, I think you will find that it is the older non-English speaking Muslim generation who use these courts”

    How do you know this ? please provide some evidence.”

    I’ll ignore the facetious tone of that and just say; all you have to do is actually study the subject you are are discussing. I don’t like the term ‘ignorant’ because we are all ignorant in many ways, but in this case you are an ignoramus.

  62. russell20 on December 21st, 2012 11:11 am

    tookey

    You need to calm down .You post a link to the secular law society report and in it you find the first point that seems to agree with your argument, what , did you think that I would’nt the rest of the report ?. Every single point from 5-11 is highlighting the sexual inequality in sharia courts, therefore it is not me it is the evidence that points in that direction. And you have the audacity to call me an ignoramous. But, it is what I have come to expect from you when you can’t win over those that are simply disagreeing with you then there is a retreat into petulance and infantile ad homs.

    “I’ll ignore the facetious tone of that and just say; all you have to do is actually study the subject you are are discussing. I don’t like the term ‘ignorant’ because we are all ignorant in many ways, but in this case you are an ignoramus”

    Again produce the evidence I have , you have yet to do so. There is very little point in appearing here making a statement and then tell me to find the evidence for myself. Of course if it was there you would waste no time in posting it , so I am going to treat it as an assumption on your part until you prove otherwise.

    Also when you can prove that both parties enter a sharia court on an equal footing (eg not when one is only worth half of the other) your argument may have some validity.

    And again they can believe whatever crap they want to, what they don’t get to do is set up some quasi-legal system that does not allow independent scrutiny of it’s decsions, simply because they believe in a particular deity.

  63. tookey2k on December 21st, 2012 1:22 pm

    Russell,

    Yep , we are going around in circles aren’t we?

    Can you point out where I have claimed that Sharia courts are fair?

    “Also when you can prove that both parties enter a sharia court on an equal footing (eg not when one is only worth half of the other) your argument may have some validity.”

    That is not my argument, and you know it. As I said in my previous post:-

    “The fact that ALL religion (not just Islam) is sexist matters not a jot! If people want to believe in that sh*t, then they have every right to! – including women and homosexuals!!!

    IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO BE WRONG!!!”

    As you can see, I am agreeing with you that Sharia Law is unfair. But that’s just tough!
    Just because we don’t like the way others live their lives doesn’t mean we can barge in there and stop them from doing what they want to do, as long as no laws are being broken.

    Lastly, what evidence are you asking me to provide?

  64. Stephen on December 21st, 2012 2:12 pm

    It is not their right to be wrong if they are not obeying the laws of the land they live in. We are getting back to your cultural relativism. Sharia courts here do do give equal rights to women and that is wrong by the laws of this land.

  65. russell20 on December 22nd, 2012 9:23 pm

    tookey

    We are done here you have said nothing worth listening to, you can’t engage in debate without child like insults, oh and FYI I have never and will never agree with you, so please carry on posting your apologist twaddle. I have switched you off.

  66. russell20 on December 22nd, 2012 10:18 pm

    Tookey

    Before I go, provide the evidence for the following (let’s see if you can manage it without retreating to the playground)

    “Also, I think you will find that it is the older non-English speaking Muslim generation who use these courts”

    And again going over old ground.

    “As you can see, I am agreeing with you that Sharia Law is unfair. But that’s just tough!
    Just because we don’t like the way others live their lives doesn’t mean we can barge in there and stop them from doing what they want to do, as long as no laws are being broken.”

    As has been pointed out to you ad nauseum, they are breaking the law by not adhering to established UK equality legslation. This is highilighted in the link YOU provided.

    “The fact that ALL religion (not just Islam) is sexist matters not a jot! If people want to believe in that sh*t, then they have every right to! – including women and homosexuals!!!”

    Not if their belief impinges upon upon current equality legislation (which sharia does) if you believe that religious belief supersedes democratic legislation, then you are arguing, whether you like it or not, that religion has the right to carve out a legal niche for itself, and thus, should have a special place in the legislative framework., which it does not deserve

    Let’s see if you use the “your previous post means I do not need to answer” dodge. That would be funny !!!!!!! Y’all have a nice day now

  67. tookey2k on January 2nd, 2013 1:52 am

    Stephen,

    “It is not their right to be wrong if they are not obeying the laws of the land they live in.”

    Who exactly are you talking about? Are you talking about the people who USE Sharia Courts/Councils, or the people who RUN them?

    I was talking about the people who USE them.

  68. trev on January 9th, 2013 10:35 pm

    As a resident of N.Ireland where to the best of my knowledge no [at the moment] Sharia courts exist, Was stunned to read of their presence & powers on the mainland.Although from what I read,are primarily functioning to deal with family/domestic problems ! This is not a matter for another lunatic fringe to embroil themselves with ! Can one begin to imagine Baptist, C of E, Methodist, Roman Catholic etc. courts ? NO ! and Why ? The notion of such is so bloody ludicrous, that no such institutions would ever be permitted to engage in such activities !
    How long before these courts begin to pass dangerous judgements on people ? It did happen in my country for over 30 years. These places were known as “Kangaroo Courts” where paramilitary organisations acted as Judge,Jury & Executioner albeit as an underground activity. Although I am not attempting to draw comparisons, These Sharia courts would appear to me to be the thin end of a very thick and potentially lethal wedge ! Personally the whole concept of these activities,send shivers down my spine,when I envisage the future potential. According to U.K. law “they are unlawful” Although they are still openly operating. The other danger by closing them is that they move underground. Catch 22 !!

  69. tookey2k on January 11th, 2013 3:38 am

    “Can one begin to imagine Baptist, C of E, Methodist, Roman Catholic etc. courts ?”

    What about Jewish courts?

  70. Graham Martin-Royle on January 11th, 2013 3:29 pm

    All religious courts should be banned but this petition is specific to Sharia courts.

  71. tookey2k on January 11th, 2013 5:21 pm

    “All religious courts should be banned but this petition is specific to Sharia courts.”

    Exactly! And therein lies the problem. Because the petition is specific to Sharia courts it would be deemed biased against one particular religion and would be thrown out by the government as unconstitutional even if the issue was presented in Parliament for discussion. It would be thrown out before any debate could take place.

    If the petition encompassed all religious courts then that would be a different matter. Even then, banning religious courts would still be deemed unconstitutional because it would involve the removal of a person’s right to settle a domestic dispute out of court on their own agreed terms via their method of choice. That is a right we all have, whether we are religious or not.

  72. Graham Martin-Royle on January 11th, 2013 8:57 pm

    It’s not unconstitutional because we don’t actually have a constitution. It would not be thrown out before a debate could take place if it was raised in parliament. The reason this is a petition specifically about sharia courts is because, if you had actually taken the time to read up about it, you would realise that they are already encroaching into non domestic matters and are trying cases that should be tried in criminal courts. No I am not going to provide you with any more links, you have been provided with enough and if you’re too lazy to check it out yourself I see no reason why I should keep on doing your work for you.

  73. tookey2k on January 12th, 2013 3:01 am

    Graham, I have viewed all the links posted in this thread. I will view yours again to see where I am going wrong.

    Britain does indeed have a constitution, albeit complicated. The US constitution was based on the British model and written up in one simple document, but both have their roots in the Magna Carta.

  74. tookey2k on January 12th, 2013 3:42 am

    I’m back already.

    Yes, I didn’t miss any of your links. You posted 3 links, all to the One For All website. Not only that but I also clicked through to the presentations.

    My views are the same. The application of Sharia Law in Muslim countries is backwards and barbaric, to say the least, but there is no such thing as Sharia Law in this country, only UK law.

    Sharia courts may exist here, but they cannot sentence anyone to amputation, or the death penalty. Their function is to mediate in domestic affairs, and even then their judgements are not recognised by the British justice system.

    Anyway, in return I ask you take a look at this link:
    http://www.thenation.com/article/168378/true-story-sharia-american-courts

    Take note of the paragraph which reads:

    “Had an anti-Sharia ban been in place in these courts, Exxon could not have won its verdict, nor would the wife in Odatalla have been able to enforce her marriage contract. The ban would have stripped those judges of their ability to fully and fairly consider the cases. For litigants in states where such a ban exists, these statutes are an unconstitutional infringement of the people’s freedom of contract, free exercise of religion and right to equal protection. And what the anti-Sharia movement ignores is that, whether a US judge considers Sharia as a foreign law, as in the Exxon case, or as a way to better understand a dispute between parties, as in Odatalla, the extent of its applicability is always dictated by American law.”

    Yes, this is an American website, but it explains very clearly my own position on this subject.

  75. Graham Martin-Royle on January 12th, 2013 2:46 pm

    We have a constitution eh? Please show me where, in the constitution, it says that banning sharia courts is against the constitution.

    While sharia courts may not be able to sentence anyone to amputation etc. they are already deciding criminal cases, i.e. domestic abuse (assault), and are interfering in child custody cases that they have no jurisdiction over. If they were to hold themselves back to merely arbitration they would not generate so much hassle, but they do not.

  76. tookey2k on January 14th, 2013 10:15 am

    Graham,

    The answer to your question can be found here:-

    The Constitution of the United Kingdom

    Part 1: The United Kingdom and Its Nationals

    Article 44 – Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

  77. Graham Martin-Royle on January 15th, 2013 12:25 am

    Tookey, your link doesn’t work.

  78. Graham Martin-Royle on January 15th, 2013 12:29 am

    Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights
    Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with
    others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in
    worship, teaching, practice and observance.
    2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be
    subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are
    necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety,
    for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    If this is what you are referring to, then I don’t see how banning sharia courts contravenes it.

  79. tookey2k on January 15th, 2013 3:26 am

    Graham,

    I did not post a link as I could not link to the document and the copy and paste obviously did not work correctly.

    Article 44 of The Constitution of the United Kingdom has 3 parts, the first 2 of which are the same as the European Convention on Human Rights which you have posted.

    Part 3 states:-

    “If a court’s or tribunal’s determination of any question arising under this Part of the Constitution might affect the exercise by a religious organisation (itself or its members collectively) of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the court or tribunal must have particular regard to the importance of that right.”

    I’m not sure what you see here, but it is quite blatantly obvious that banning Sharia courts would certainly contravene Part 1 – “…to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

    It does not matter if there are individual cases where an injustice has been done on the back of a Sharia court ruling, the fact remains that you cannot ban Sharia courts because that would be removing an individual’s right “…to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, PRACTICE AND OBSERVANCE.”

    I capitalised the last two words to emphasise the importance of them. Sharia courts give guidance (however backwards it may be) on practice and observance.

    “While sharia courts may not be able to sentence anyone to amputation etc. they are already deciding criminal cases, i.e. domestic abuse (assault), and are interfering in child custody cases that they have no jurisdiction over.”

    If Sharia courts are ‘deciding’ criminal cases, then why can’t they sentence people to amputation or give them the death penalty?

  80. atheist0083 on January 15th, 2013 8:52 am

    Any sort of judiciary system based on religious delusion is bad, laws must be devoid of any religious influence. Religion has a history of viewing issues from an extreme view point and that view point is irrational.

  81. Graham Martin-Royle on January 15th, 2013 9:45 am

    Tookey, if that were all that sharia courts were doing there would not be a campaign to ban them, It is because they go beyond that, out of the realm of arbitration and into areas that are the domain of the courts that they are being targeted. This has nothing to do with the practise or observance of the religion. To keep bringing up the death penalty and/or amputation is a non-sequitur, not all crimes merit these punishments.

    The reason you can’t link to a document titled “The Constitution of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” is because such a document does not exist. We do not have a written constitution.

  82. tookey2k on January 15th, 2013 11:03 am

    “To keep bringing up the death penalty and/or amputation is a non-sequitur, not all crimes merit these punishments.

    Surely the reason this petition was set up was through fear that eventually Sharia Law would take over and we would see the re-introduction of the death penalty and other atrocities labelled ‘punishment’?

    Am I mistaken?

    The reason I can not link to the document is because it is on my computer! If I can find another source I will post it.

  83. tookey2k on January 15th, 2013 1:58 pm
  84. Graham Martin-Royle on January 15th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Are you mistaken, yes.

    The document you linked to is not the constitution of the UK. As said before, we do not have a written constitution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom

    Please note the second paragraph, which starts, “Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single constitutional document”.

  85. russell20 on January 15th, 2013 4:48 pm

    I know I pulled out of this discussion but the lack of a single coherent document of constitutional rights in the UK is a pet gripe of mine. We simply don’t have a single document as the US does.. However, despite the lack of a single document in the UK, ironically the US constution was influenced by Magna Carta, and the English Bill of Rights. There is a useful piece (link below) over at the UCL public policy dept.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/research/uk-constitution

    From the UCL article………….

    “Finally, because the British Constitution cannot be found in any single document, politicians and lawyers have relied on constitutional authorities to locate and understand the constitution”

  86. trev on January 18th, 2013 12:10 am

    Dont forget guys, that whenever these Shaira courts if or are abolished as they should be, that the powers that introduced and enforced them will disappear ! As I and many of my fellow countrymen have witnessed for decades. These kind of practices simply move “Underground” ! And as in the case of illegal courts in this island, Punishments ranged from, community service, fines, punishment beatings, punishment shootings/kneecappings & executions.! And these were only enforced by small groupings of hoodlums in N.I. So how much more dangerous can a vast community of religious fanatics/extremists be ?

  87. SudoNim on January 26th, 2013 3:02 pm

    “Whilst I am fully aware that Muslim women may be threatened with violence if they do not attend Sharia ‘courts’, that is not reason enough to outlaw them”….

    Im sorry but it seems your morality has been eroded…. If there is ANY chance that somebody’s human rights may be be violated in ANY way (certainly the right to not be assaulted) that is most definitely a reason to outlaw them.

    Are you just being contrary for the sake of argument? I hope so because otherwise I find your position disturbing.

    If we are to have law it should apply to EVERYONE irrespective of childish superstitions and backwards belief sytems. END. OF

  88. tookey2k on January 28th, 2013 2:54 am

    SudoNim,

    “Are you just being contrary for the sake of argument? I hope so because otherwise I find your position disturbing. ”

    No, I am not just taking my position ‘for the sake of argument’. I have made my position clear that Sharia courts are a worry for me, but that outlawing such religious freedoms would erode everyone’s freedoms including those of us atheists! I really do wish people would wake up to what I’m saying.

    The only other alternative would be to outlaw ALL religious forms of domestic dispute mediation and advice, and that would be unconstitutional.

    If a woman is threatened with violence if she does not attend a Sharia court, then the law has been broken and it needs reporting. If no one reports it, then nothing can be done about it. But that has nothing to do with the court itself, the same as witnesses being intimidated NOT to give evidence in court – that is not the court’s fault.

    “If we are to have law it should apply to EVERYONE irrespective of childish superstitions and backwards belief sytems. END. OF”

    There is only one law in Britain. There is no such thing as Sharia Law in this country, only Sharia courts which are not recognised by British law as having any legal powers. But if you or I would prefer to settle our dispute out of court – as many people do – then we have the freedom to do so. That’s is what is called a free society.

  89. Graham Martin-Royle on January 28th, 2013 1:26 pm

    It’s a pity you can’t read Tookey, The reasons for this petition and the arguments against your position have been plainly put. I’m not wasting any more time with you.

  90. tookey2k on January 29th, 2013 12:22 am

    With respect Graham, I have no problem with the REASON for this petition, but the petition itself is flawed – that’s my problem and something I have, at great pains, tried to convey to an audience who are so oblivious to the fact that religious freedom and freedom of thought are actually the same thing.

    Sharia and Jewish courts are not endorsed by the state yet are allowed to exist under the flag of ‘freedom of religion’. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, but we have to put up with it!

    There is no difference between a Sharia court discriminating against women, and the Catholic church discriminating against homosexuals. That’s what is called religious freedom. It is an ‘opt-in/opt-out’ thing.

    But there is no opt-in/opt-out option when it comes to the law! The law trumps all. One can opt-out of religion and stand under the protective umbrella of the state. Conversely, one can also opt-in to a religion and decide they would rather settle a domestic dispute with religious guidance.

    But there is still only one law.

    So Graham, I know you’re not going to waste any more time with me because I can’t read, but it would be reassuring if you could point out what is wrong with the above? Maybe I could learn where I went wrong over the last 10 years or so of debating the conflicts arising between the need for a free society and the freedom it gives those who do not share the spirit of such freedoms (i.e. The BNP).

  91. russell20 on March 9th, 2013 10:37 pm

    @ tookey

    “Sharia and Jewish courts are not endorsed by the state yet are allowed to exist under the flag of ‘freedom of religion’. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, but we have to put up with it!”

    Still displaying your total ignorance I see. Both of the above “courts” exist as a result of religious privilege (and not religious freedom what ever that is supposed to mean perhaps you could explain) granted to them by a state that endorses and supports a privileged place (at a social, political and cultural level) for religion eg faith schools, bishops in the House of Lords, displays of deference to religious leaders (see Ratzingers visit) etc etc. And we don’t have to put up with it

    You really do need to do better tookey.

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