UK rejects recognizing Sharia marriages under civil law

UK rejects recognizing Sharia marriages under civil law
Muslims in prayer, UK street

[Ed. – Truck bombing in London in 5, 4, 3, …]

The British government rejected the recommendation of a governmental review board to formally regulate sharia councils, saying to do so would recognize the legitimacy of sharia law in Britain.

The review board concluded that since the closure of sharia courts in the UK is “not a viable option,” the government should formally regulate them and impose a code of conduct. The primary recommendation of the board was that Muslim couples should be legally required to register their marriages in a civil court before or at the same time as their Islamic ceremony. This would be so “a greater number of women will have the full protection afforded to them in family law and the right to a civil divorce,” lessening the need to attend sharia councils and simplifying the process if they choose to do so.

A large proportion of Muslim women in the UK do not register their sharia marriages with the state, thereby forfeiting their legal rights (to property, custody, etc.) should a divorce take place. The review noted that nearly all those using sharia council were women, with the majority of them seeking Islamic divorce.

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