Chris Moos looks at the sources the Law Society cited for its guidance on sharia.
…the Law Society has readily admitted that it does neither have the expertise, nor the legitimacy to make verdicts on sharia law. On what expertise is the Law Society then drawing for its practice note?
The answer to this can be found at the very end of the practice note in the ‘further information‘ section, where the Law Society references its sources. There, you will find links to such website as the Islam Channel, which has been fined repeatedly by Ofcom forbreaking the broadcasting code for airing programmes that advocate marital rape and call for the killing of those who ‘insult the prophet’. Ofcom specifically stated the Islam Channel’s programme “was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime“.
Wow…really? For their expert “guidance” they turned to the Islam Channel? Surely their clients can use Google as well as they can; I don’t see why professional “guidance” is needed for that.
Of course, the matter of Islamic inheritance is complex, and it would not be fair to suggest that practice note is solely based on one website. Yet, the Law Society is clear about the intellectual basis of its guidance. One of its main references is a book on Islamic inheritance rules by Dr. Muhammad al-Jibaly, a hardline salafi and former President of the notorious Qur’an and Sunnah Society of North America. If you are in any doubt where the pathological hatred of women that is so central to the Law Society’s practice note stems from, you should read Dr. Al-Jibaly, whose views are as clear as they are extreme: “A willful fornicator deserves to be whipped one hundred lashes, and a willful adulterer deserves stoning to death.”
Unsurprisingly, his views are not limited to the crime of ‘fornication’, but finds reflection in his work on inheritance, where he specifies his stance not only on non-Muslims and ‘illegitimate children’ (“children of zina”), but also – incredibly – “slave women“. Now, if you think that Al-Jibaly restricts his expertise to the interpretation of Islamic law, you should listen to his advice on children and non-Muslims, the latter of which he simply refers to derogatorily as kuffar:
“What is sad to see, for many parents they send their children to the kuffar school, they allow them to mix with the kuffar, play with them [...] so that the lifestyle and the beliefs of the kuffar become deep-rooted in the hearts of the kids. [...] Command your children to pray when they are seven years old and hit them if they do not pray, or they don’t pray right. [...] A girl she should start hijab from the age of seven. By the age of ten it becomes an obligation on us to force her to wear hijab. And if she doesn’t wear hijab we hit her.” [Parents should encourage] their children from mixing with the Muslims, staying away from the kuffar, having only Muslims as his friends, feeling the uniqueness and the pride of being Muslim [...]“.
Why would the Law Society take a book by that guy as a source?
Despite being a representative body bound by its own Equality Policy, the Law Society has chosen not to base its practice note on the work of those many British Muslims who are managing to reconcile their faith with considerations of equality and human rights. Instead, the Law Society has elected to ignore the existing progressive voices within British Islam, and enshrined the ideology of a man who so clearly loathes women, non-Muslims and children as a model to emulate.
And this is merely the beginning. The Law Society has already announced a “planned future seminar series on Islamic law [with] expert and authoritative speakers highlighting some basic concepts and requirements of the Islamic Shari’a”. It remains to be seen whether it will be left to men of the ilk of al-Jibaly to run these sessions.
What the hell? Why would the Law Society do that? Why on earth? Islamic “law” is not a real thing in their terms; it’s not about “law” in UK terms; it’s a branch of a religion. It really has nothing to do with the actual law. They don’t have to give seminars in it just because it borrows the word “law” to make itself seem important and mandatory.
It’s just getting more ridiculous.