There are as many as 85 sharia courts operating in Britain, according to a new report, published by the think-tank Civitas. Academic Denis MacEoin, the report’s author, said the existence of the courts practising Islamic law could lead to different legal standards being applied to Muslim and non-Muslim citizens. He said many of the courts operate out of mosques and their rulings are closed off to non-Muslims.
In previous reports it was claimed there were only five sharia courts in the UK, working in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton. His report includes a list of previous sharia judgements which he believes give an indication of the type of ruling being handed down by the courts working in the UK.
Islamic extremists in Britain are openly trying to recruit children via the internet, a report warns. They are using websites which carry messages of hate from terror suspects, according to the respected Civitas think-tank. The study, by its Centre for Social Cohesion, reveals how fanatics are using the Web to bypass the anti-terror laws passed in the wake of the 2005 London bombings. Extremists are no longer delivering hate-filled sermons and distributing propaganda on street corners, but instead use pro-jihadist websites. Some of these carry calls for the flag of Islam to ‘fly over Downing Street’, and urge militants to attack Jews and Christians. Most worrying are sections of the sites dedicated to the radicalisation of children. One message from controversial preacher Omar Bakri – now exiled to Lebanon – says children should be brought up to spread Islam through jihad. Mothers are also using the websites to rail against British education. One writes: ‘As part of GCSE, they must study Shakespeare, whose books are full of homosexuality, fornication and adultery, each of which are great sins in Islam.’ The websites also routinely carry rants by fanatics such as Abu Hamza, Abdullah el-Faisal, Abu Izzadeen and Abu Qatada. James Slack reports.