Examples on the ground from a premier religious freedom attorney.
In 2008, while arguing for the need to formally introduce Sharia law into the law of the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed Sharia law was “inevitable” in the UK . He denied it was an “alien” system and called for “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law. He did this in a calculated and provocative manner, while denying a place for its more “extreme punishments.”
It is unlikely that many members of the Muslim community would be satisfied with an Anglican primate determining the limitations of the Quran and Sharia law.
This argument was rapidly followed by the Lord Chief Justice: Lord Phillips helpfully said there was a place for Sharia law, particularly in mediation. He lamented the “widespread misunderstanding” of Sharia law. The newly established Muslim Arbitration Tribunals immediately put a picture of the Lord Chief Justice on their website in appreciation of his endorsement.
In the United Kingdom, the many thousands of Sharia courts can quietly go about their business of implementing “justice” in a form totally “alien” to the Judeo-Christian tradition, denying human rights to many of our citizens — particularly women.
The “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law reached a logical conclusion with the declaration this year of Sharia law controlled zones in a number of areas geographically spread over the country, where the Islamist militants enforce their will. Their posters declare: “No music or concerts, no porn or prostitution, no drugs or smoking, no gambling, no alcohol.” A reign of terror has begun, with threats of implicit violence against anyone who “insults” Islam, changes religion, or fails to dress appropriately. I have already been contacted about assisting two individuals subject to Islamist threats.
The police stand passively by, adhering to their diversity training.
If the Labour Party had won the last general election in 2010, I believe they would have introduced Sharia law into the United Kingdom. Things have changed for the better since David Cameron became prime minister — he has criticized “state multiculturalism” as causative of terrorism and radicalism. An inquiry of the Ministry of Justice into the operation of Sharia courts had to be stopped as Muslim leaders refused to cooperate with the government; they wanted to continue to execute Sharia law in secrecy. However, this has only heightened concerns. A Conservative peer has sought to introduce legislation delimiting the operation of Sharia courts as discriminatory against women. The home secretary has at last refused entry visas to “hate preachers” like Zakir Naik. (The last Labour government welcomed Hezbollah terrorists to lecture the police on “political Islam.”)