Sharia Law is a legal system which regulates the lives of devout Muslims and is based on religious precepts and the text of the Quran. The exact number of Sharia councils operating in England and Wales is unknown, with estimates varying from 30 to 85.
The Council of Europe has taken aim at the UK in a resolution which draws attention to the country’s Sharia law councils; it claims that they contradict universal human rights.
The resolution, which was adopted by the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), noted that in Britain “Sharia councils attempt to provide a form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby members of the Muslim community, sometimes voluntarily, often under considerable social pressure, accept their religious jurisdiction mainly in marital and Islamic divorce issues, but also in matters relating to inheritance and Islamic commercial contracts”.
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