Investigation Finds Women at Risk in Sharia Courts

7 April 2013sharia documentary

A Crown Prosecution Service investigation of a number of Sharia courts operating in mosques across the country found that these courts may be risking the safety of women by ruling in favor of possibly abusive husbands. Continue reading “Investigation Finds Women at Risk in Sharia Courts”

Inside Britain’s Sharia courts

This article describes a new BBC documentary that goes undercover in Britain’s Islamic courts. The documentary reveals some shocking discrimination suffered by women. In Leyton Islamic Sharia Council, the oldest and most active such council in the country, scholars hear about 50 cases a month, most of them marital disputes. Nine out of 10 cases brought forth are by women. No one knows how many there are in Britain today, although some estimate at least 85. Although they cannot enforce their judgments, these councils control the lives of many Muslims. But according to the article the pressure from Sharia councils and the community they serve is causing suffering as islamic rulings are not always in the interests of women and can run counter to British law. There are more worrying cases involving domestic violence and children. The court in Leyton is reported to have said that with children if a marriage ends, the question of access to both parents is crucial. Safety is paramount and any UK court order must be followed. Sharia courts are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands, the Crown Prosecution Service has warned. The courts, which issue rulings according to Islamic law, have been found to be giving Muslim women advice which experts warned may place them in danger. Nazir Afzal, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the north-west of England, who is a Muslim and who has spoken out against honour-based domestic violence, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by what he was shown.

Three terrorists found guilty of transatlantic jet bombing plot

A court found three men guilty Monday of plotting to blow up at least seven transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives, in what would have been a “terrorist event of global proportions”. Ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali was found guilty of conspiring to murder thousands in the plot, whose discovery in 2006 triggered wide-ranging new rules on carrying liquids on commercial aircraft. Tanvir Hussain, 28, and Assad Sarwar, 29, were found guilty on the same charges of plotting to carry out bombings on aircraft flying from London’s Heathrow airport to the United States and Canada. “This was a calculated and sophisticated plot to create a terrorist event of global proportions,” the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said after the verdict. The trio were previously found guilty of conspiracy to murder, but the jury in their first trial could not decide on charges that they had plotted to kill people by bringing down airliners.

Saudi women preaching hate in the British mosque that promised to clean up its act 18 months ago

Hardline female ‘preachers of hate’ are radicalising Muslim women at one of Britain’s top mosques.
The Saudi Arabian preachers were secretly filmed ordering women to murder gays and ex-Muslims.
Undercover reporters from Channel 4’s Dispatches recorded the lectures in the women’s section of Regent’s Park Mosque in London. An unnamed Saudi woman is seen mocking other religions – labelling Christianity ‘vile’ and an ‘abomination’. Another, known as ‘Angelique’, claims Britain is a ‘land of evil’. The investigators attended lectures for two months at the mosque, which had promised a clean-up after another Dispatches probe just 18 months ago exposed it for spreading extreme Islamic views. During one sermon, a woman called Um Amira says: ‘He is Muslim, and he gets out of Islam…what are we going to do? We kill him, kill, kill.’ In the programme, to be screened tomorrow, she adds that women adulterers should be stoned to death and people who have sex before marriage should get ‘100 lashes’. Regent’s Park Mosque is one of the biggest and most prestigious Islamic institutions in the UK. Opened in 1944 by King George VI, it can hold up to 5,000 worshippers.
After the 2007 Dispatches investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service was asked to advise by West Midlands Police on whether the preachers featured in the programme should be prosecuted. Tom Harper reports.

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Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque

Three months after Dispatches: Undercover Mosque won a police apology and libel damages, Channel 4 has announced it is returning to the subject in Undercover Mosque: The Return. Earlier this year West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service paid out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Undercover Mosque Hardcash, the independent producer responsible for the documentary, after falsely accusing the programme of misleading viewers. The documentary, an undercover investigation into extremism in mainstream British mosques, featured preachers calling for homosexuals to be killed, espousing male supremacy, condemning non-Muslims and predicting jihad. Last August, West Midlands police referred the critically acclaimed programme to media regulator Ofcom and, in conjunction with the CPS, issued a statement saying the words of three preachers featured had been “heavily edited” so their meaning was “completely distorted”. However, Ofcom cleared Channel 4 and Hardcash of any TV fakery and ruled they “dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context”. The two companies subsequently launched their libel action. Tara Conlan reports. It has now emerged that the same Hardcash production team have revisited the subject to “see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions”.

Britain’s first Muslim peer faces charges over text message he sent shortly before fatal car crash

Labour peer Lord Ahmed could face charges over a text message allegedly sent from his mobile phone shortly before a motorway crash in which a 28-year-old man died. He was driving his gold Jaguar X-type on the M1 on Christmas Day when he smashed into a car which had spun out of control and had come to rest in the fast lane facing the wrong way. The 50-year-old peer was badly shaken and suffered “cuts and bruises” in the accident in which his wife Sakina, 49, and his mother, who is in her mid-80s, also suffered minor injuries. Martyn Gombar, the Slovakian driver of the other car, was killed instantly. A routine police investigation into the death crash has focused on the use of his mobile phone in the minutes before Lord Ahmed used it to call the emergency services. A text was allegedly sent to a journalist friend during this period and police have been trying to establish the circumstances in which it was sent and by whom. Motorists who send texts at the wheel face being charged with causing death by dangerous driving if using the mobile is believed to have played a part in an accident in which someone is killed. The maximum sentence is 14 years. But yesterday Lord Ahmed denied committing such an offence. He said: “I would strenuously deny any allegation of death by dangerous driving, other than that I cannot comment.” South Yorkshire Police has prepared a file on the case which will shortly be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider. Chris Brooke reports.

Worker sacked for ‘insulting’ Muslims for covering up cross

A hospital porter was “devastated” after he was sacked following a row with a Muslim doctor over a crucifix. Joseph Protano, a devout Roman Catholic, was a regular visitor to a prayer room open to all faiths at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. But Protono, 54, became increasingly angry to find that a crucifix and a statue of the Virgin Mary were regularly being left covered up. On one visit he discovered three Muslims – two patients and a consultant – inside the prayer room with the two icons masked by a cloth. A picture of the Virgin Mary had also been placed face down. The Muslims accused Protano of using racist language and assault, but he strongly denies the charges against him and claims they verbally abused him. Protano, from Salford, was suspended four days after the incident in December and has now been fired. He said he was unable to comment because he planned to appeal, but friends admitted he was “totally shocked and devastated”. Police released him after four hours of questioning following the assault complaint and passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide if he should be charged.

Channel 4 under fire over film on mosque preachers

Channel 4 came under fire from Muslim groups yesterday after the Crown Prosecution Service accused it of “completely distorting” an edition of its documentary strand Dispatches that went undercover in some of Britain’s biggest mosques. Following the latest allegation of underhand editing to hit broadcasters, Channel 4 defended the film and said it was “shocked and baffled” at the accusations from West Midlands police and the CPS. The police force said that after investigating three preachers featured in the film for potentially inciting racial hatred and concluding there was insufficient evidence, it turned its attention to the programme makers. Bethan David, a CPS lawyer, reviewed 56 hours of footage and concluded: “The splicing together of extracts from longer speeches appears to have completely distorted what the speakers were saying.” While the CPS said there were not sufficient grounds for charges against Channel 4, it had passed the matter to media regulator Ofcom as an official complaint.

UK May Charge Clerics With Treason

LONDON, England (AP) — British prosecutors say they are considering treason charges against any Islamic extremists who express support for terrorism. Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s office said the Crown Prosecution Service’s head of anti-terrorism would meet with senior Metropolitan Police officers to discuss possible charges against three prominent clerics as part of a crackdown on those the government believes are inciting terrorism. Clerics Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Izzaden and Abu Uzair, have appeared on British television in recent days. Goldsmith’s office said prosecutors and police would look at remarks made by the three and consider whether they could face charges of treason, incitement to treason, solicitation of murder, or incitement to withhold information known to be of use to police. Bakri Mohammed has reportedly said since the July 7 attacks that he would not inform police if he knew Muslims were planning another attack and he supports insurgents who attack troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. “No decision on charges has been made yet,” the attorney general’s office spokeswoman said, speaking anonymously because British civil servants cannot be named. The spokeswoman said prosecutors may also seek access to taped recordings made by an undercover Sunday Times reporter who reportedly recorded members of a radical group praising the suicide bombers as “The Fantastic Four.” The newspaper’s story said its reporter spent two months as a “recruit” of the group, the Savior Sect, and described the organization as inciting young British Muslims to become terrorists.

Reactions To And Controversies About Al Qaradawi’s Visit In London

Islamic cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is due to address a conference on Sunday supported by the Metropolitan Police. Controversy has surrounded his visit to the UK amid claims by Jewish community leaders he threatens race relations. But the cleric has been allowed to speak after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it would not act over his defence of Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel as “martyrs”. He is expected to speak at the Wembley Conference Centre in London.