The Daily Mail 13 Dec. 2015: The following was written by Machteld Zee, a Dutch academic. The controversial, 200-page Choosing Sharia carries a detailed description of events that Zee claims took place over three days in 2013, when she was allowed to observe goings-on in two of Britain’s busiest Sharia courts, or councils.
1) Sitting in one room, a young Muslim woman tells an elderly cleric about the parlous state of her marriage to a 50-year-old man.
‘He oppressed me to the maximum,’ she declares. ‘He is violent, physically, and treats me like a dog.’
The woman — who looks barely out of her early 20s — describes her spouse as verbally and physically abusive about ‘every little thing’ she does.
When the husband’s around, he forces her to wear a headscarf. When he isn’t, which is often, he likes to travel to Tunisia, where she suspects he has secretly married several other women.
For all she knows, she adds, he might have accumulated as many as ten other wives. Fighting back tears, as she finishes this tale of betrayal, the woman glances to the cleric, who has a long white beard, and sits at a raised desk in front of a bookcase full of Islamic texts.
The elderly cleric, whose name is Suhaib Hasan, starts laughing. ‘Why did you marry such a person?’ he chuckles.
2) Down the corridor, another vulnerable Muslim woman is telling a second elderly cleric about her ill-fated marriage. This woman, in her 30s, says that at 19 she was coerced by her family into marrying a Bangladeshi illegal immigrant (who duly gained British citizenship). They had two children, but the relationship foundered.
‘There was a lot of fighting. He threw stuff at me. He put me in debt,’ she says.
The husband, to whom she gave £38,000 during their time together, is now back in Bangladesh, where he’s taken a second wife. The woman has not seen him for four years, and therefore wants a divorce.
But the cleric won’t grant one. Instead, says a witness, he decides to ‘tell her about the “scientific biologic reasons for polygamy” ’.
Finally, the cleric, Maulana Abu Sayeed, makes an effort, in the words of the witness, to ‘persuade the woman towards acceptance of the marriage in polygamous form’.
3) Elsewhere, in the same building, a third hearing is taking place, presided over by a much younger cleric, Furqan Mahmood. In front of him sits a nervous-looking Muslim couple, who have several children.
They are, they explain, concerned that their marriage, conducted several years ago, might somehow be invalid. To blame is a technicality of Islamic law: the woman divorced her first husband in the UK courts, but failed to also obtain a religious divorce, or Talaq.
So the couple are worried this inadvertent breach of Muslim custom could, on paper, mean that she is living as an adulteress.
In Islam the punishment for adultery is for women stoning. Even raped women can be stoned. Rapists will have to pay what corresponds to a dowry – if he can!
The cleric certainly seems deeply concerned. ‘It is going to be a difficult case,’ Mahmood, who wears long white robes, tells the couple. ‘We are going to ask our scholars to give you the answers.’
One potential way to adhere to the letter of Islamic law, he later explains, would be for the couple to undergo a process called Nikah Halala. This would begin with them divorcing, a step that would allow a cleric to legally declare the woman’s first marriage over.
Then, before re-marrying her second husband, the woman would be required to have a temporary marriage to another man.
‘She will need to have sex first [with the other man], divorce him, [and] wait three menstrual periods,’ reports a witness to the hearing. ‘Then she can return to the father of her children.
Around 85 such tribunals, usually attached to mosques, are believed to operate in the UK, according to research by the think-tank Civitas.
They are designed to help religious Muslims settle financial, family and marital disputes according to the principles of their faith, as laid down in the 7th century.
To supporters, including many on the Left, such courts provide a unique and valuable service to the Muslim community by helping its members stay true to Sharia law, a legal system derived from the Koran and the rulings of Islamic scholars, known as fatwas.
In keeping with the principles of multiculturalism, critics of Sharia courts therefore almost invariably find themselves accused of Islamophobia.
Zee says the vast majority of the cases involved women seeking to divorce absent husbands, due to the fact that under Islamic law, men only need to say ‘I divorce you’ three times to separate from their wives — while women need the sanction of clerics, whom they must pay for the privilege.
The tribunal found, in accordance with standard Sharia principles, the male heirs should be given twice as much money as the women.
‘The problem is not that they were mean, but that the foundation of their justice acts in a system of Sharia Islamic law, in which the principle focus is making women dependent on their husbands and male clerics,’ she says.
According to Zee: ‘One judge said: “Under Islam, we should reconcile marriages even if there is violence.”
Then there is Shaykh Suhaib Hasan, the ISC’s co-founder who remains a trustee, sits in judgment in its courts, and made headlines following a Channel 4 documentary called Divorce Sharia Style, in which he appeared to express a desire to impose Sharia law on the UK.
‘If Sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace,’ he argued, ‘because once a thief’s hand is cut off, nobody is going to steal. Once, just once, if an adulterer is stoned, nobody is going to commit this crime at all.’
I have an unpleasant impression that most of the welcomers are white women – Angela Merkel as their high priestess..
I cannot help wondering if they now scorn the white males raised like girls by their mothers that they want ruthless macho men instead?
Whether they do or not is now irrelevant: The mass immigration and demography will make all of Europe Islamic within a few years. Sharia law will hit all women hard, often making them not only slaves, but dogs, as one woman says above. Women´s rights will then no longer be valid – for the Koran has different prescriptions. Surviving men will be ruthless pashas.