Individuals with experience of sharia law are being urged to take part in an independent review examining whether the religious code is being misused within Britain.
The government-commissioned sharia law review is exploring whether the application of sharia is incompatible with the law in England and Wales.
It will also examine the ways in which the practice may be being misused, or exploited, in a way that may discriminate against certain groups, undermine shared values or cause social harms.
The review’s chair, Professor Mona Siddiqui, today (Monday 4 July), issued a formal call for evidence urging those who have experienced sharia law to share their views.
Professor Siddiqui said:
The independent review into sharia councils has been established to explore incompatibility with the law in England and Wales as well as the ways in which sharia may be being misused or exploited, to possibly discriminate against certain groups, undermine shared values or cause social harms.
It is vital that the panel hears a wide range of views and experiences from a variety of sources across the country. Therefore, I am issuing a call for evidence to invite those who work in such councils or those who have used sharia councils to come forward and share their views.
The panel is particularly keen to speak to those who:
- have worked as part of a sharia council in the last 5 years
- have used a sharia council in any capacity in the last 5 years
Professor Mona Siddiqui, an internationally renowned expert in Islamic and inter-religious studies who was appointed OBE for her services to inter-faith relations, is leading the panel of experts that includes experienced family law barrister Sam Momtaz, retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley and specialist family law lawyer Anne Marie Hutchinson OBE QC.
The panel will be advised by 2 religious and theological experts – Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim.
The Home Secretary committed to an independent review of the application of sharia law as part of the government’s counter-extremism strategy. The panel is expected to complete its review in 2017.