One Law for All statement on Jewish court


Below is One Law for All’s Statement on High Court Beth Din Case:

A High Court judge in London last week approved the decision of a Beth Din Council in New York.

The anonymous couple were in dispute over access to children and asked the High Court judge to agree to allow them to refer their case to the Beth Din Council in New York. In agreeing to allow this, the judge referred to a speech by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in which he described the adoption of sharia in family matters as “inevitable”.

Mr Justice Baker said: “The outcome was in keeping with English law, whilst achieved by a process rooted in Jewish culture to which the families belong.” He also stipulated that the husband must give his wife a Get – a Jewish divorce. The power to grant a Get is in the husband’s hands only and represents yet another example of anti-woman gender discrimination inherent in religious legal systems. Given that the power of divorce rests with the husband only, Mr Justice Baker should have recognised that this is not in keeping with English law – it is entirely discriminatory.

A Telegraph report stated that ‘The judge approved the Get given by the New York Beth Din after establishing that it would be accepted by all rabbinical courts and orthodox synagogues around the world’. In effect, this means that if a ruling is acceptable to religion, it is therefore acceptable in law.

This ruling sets a dangerous precedence which places religious misogyny in high esteem. At a time when international human rights law is increasingly recognising and opposing the anti human rights rhetoric put forward by many religious authorities, the UK High Court should be following suit and not going in a backwards direction by adhering to religious laws.

Gender discrimination is wrong – both in law and in natural justice – and this remains the case whether it is reinforced by religion or agreed to by the person being discriminated against. People are free to live their lives as they wish, but the state should not under any circumstances give credence or credibility to gender discrimination, or adopt it in to law.

One Law for All reiterates that a single secular and human rights based legal system must be adhered to in order to protect the rights of the religious and non-religious alike.

Comments

  1. Frank Bath says

    Is there to be an over ruling? There had better be or the rest of the religious nuts will be marching in the streets demanding their ‘rights’.

  2. says

    Nonsense. Courts have the right to appoint mediators in cases of property and child custody disputes. These mediators have to be people that both parties respect in order to achieve a settlement that both find fair. Courts around the world accept mediation from non-court-officers if that person is acceptable to the parties. For the UK court to accept the settlement proposed by the Jewish court, the judge is reviewing the recommendation and finding that it fits within the laws of the country. UK law still applies. This is important. The judge heard a recommendation, checked that the laws applied, modified it as needed, and issued a ruling. That is good jurisprudence.

    • says

      Child protection must take precedence over religious laws. Under Sharia for example child custody goes to the father at a preset age irrespective of the welfare of the child. We need to ensure that child welfare and not religious doctrine are held paramount. The only way to do that is to keep religious laws out. Arbitration has never been meant for family and criminal aspects of the law. It is accepted primarily because its victims are minority women and children. What ever happened to equal rights and child protection and welfare laws. Only applies to certain children and women? Scandalous!

  3. Janet says

    Depressing that the judge referred to the archbishop’s acceptance of sharia law as “inevitable”. Next time someone else will refer to this judge’s decision as well. And so precedents get set in stone. Bad news.

  4. Comtessa de Metoncula says

    As long as we have all male Judges, we will have such outcomes..
    Sharia Law should be outlawed in the UK and in all western countries that do not have a Theocracy.
    It has no place in our society!

  5. Martyn says

    @ Comtessa. No. 5.

    I agree with what you say about religious law completely, but you cannot blame male privelege this time. Oh no. There has been no end of women – including feminists – who have sold other women and children down the river in the name of culture relativism.

    Here’s Germaine Greer on FGM: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/535488.stm

  6. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Not a fan of either Jewish or Muslim (or any other – including Christian) religious laws in society.

    One law for all, whatever religion, whatever status…

  7. Rasha Taus says

    Just retweeted the article. Whereas I am and will remain a staunch supporter of Israel and may be relied upon NOT to be party to the Left-Liberal`polite’ anti-Semitism du jour, as a progressive woman I will support every endeavour to keep our laws free of ALL religious imprimantur.

    I have signed every one of Mariam Namazie’s online petitions, and will continue to do so in this fight.
    Best wishes
    Rasha

    • says

      Not sure what being a staunch supporter of Israel has to do with it. And why being opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine is considered polite anti-Semitism? It reminds me of the arguments made in support of Sharia – those who oppose are deemed to be guilty of Islamophobia which is equated with anti-Muslim bigotry. I believe in Israel’s right to exist but I also believe in the right to Palestinians to have a state of their own. But why is this relevant to a discussion on religious courts? By the way, thanks for signing petitions.

  8. mahapara says

    aise cheap thinking rakhne wale logo ko talibaan refer kr dena chahiye, inhe kya haq banta h kisi ke khilaf decison lene ka, kisi ke dreams aur career ban ne phle hi usko destroy karne ka kaun hain ye waulana mufti Islam ko badnaam karnewale aur dhram ke naam par womens ko aage na badhne dene wale. Mujhe ye sab sunkar bhut bad feel hua aur ho raha h un masoomo par kya guzri hogi. Hum muslim hone ke sath-sath hindustani bhi hain aur hame apne tareeke se rehne ka, profession karne ka right h aur ye right hame hamare watan ke constitution se mila hua h, hum talibani nahi hain jo 14th century mein jeete rahein. Hamari goverment ko iss sabke against kadam uthana chahiye aur muslmaan kaum ko bhi.

  9. Frances says

    Dear Maryam Namazie, good and beautiful Morning, I was looking for Information about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Book ”Adan and Eve” [see Point 1.] and about yourself and your Connections to Hebrew judaism, and I found the following Article, where you criticize Ayaan for suggesting Arabo islamics to turn to Christianity, and you says Arabo islamicity to be anti semite [see Point 2.]: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/ayaan-hirsi-ali-urges-oppressed-muslims-to-become-christians/

    1. There are only little, and almost no [!], Information about Ayaan’s Book about Arabo islamicity and Hebrew judaism. The only Information which easily appears [Google Research] is in German, saying that the Book is about [shortly] … Arabo islamic Racism against Hebrew jews [see Point 2.]; and there is an English Article saying that this is Children’s Book [which is false].

    2. Anti semitism is a … [the Way Ayaan Hirsi Ali would put it: positive] racist Issue. What should that Semitism be? [By the Way, it is not possible to say that Arabo islamicity is about Anti semitism, since Arabs belong to the … Semitic Branch of the Afro asiatic linguistic Familyrabo islamic. Therefore, should they be Anti themselves? Not really!] I Semitism an elected Race, belonging to certain elected People, who deserve to have a Law which is not 1 for All, but which is 1 for themselves only, which protects themselves only against ”Anti”?

    Why shouldn’t there be a similar Concept, to protect against ”Anti”, in favour of, let’s say, Indo europeans, or Arians, or Germans, or Sino tibetans, or Afro asiatics in general, or so?

    Do you know that in the ”Day of Remembrance” [another racist Issue, which priviledges certain People above the Others <– every other Person on Earth, who lived in the Past and/or who is living Today,

    and who priviledges the Suffering of the self appointed elected Race/People's Suffering of historical Facts above any other People's Suffering (no Matter how great that Suffering was or has been or is)],

    Hebrew jews, or Semites [I call them that Way because they want to be called that Way. They appearently refuse Universalism and universal Brother-/Sistherhood or universal human/sentient Beings' Fellowship] spread Hate against THE GERMANS [and there is no anti racist Law to protect them from getting freely insulted], instead of talking about extreme Ideologies or past political Mouvements [such as Hitlerian National socialism], and criticizing them [see Point 3.]?

    3. There is no Criticism against extreme Ideologies, to whom Hebrew judaism, Arabo islamicity, and even other political atheist and laic and other religious Ideologies belong. Which is unfair, since either People criticize the Tenets of untruthful, unreliable, untrustful and Loveless Ideologies, or People prentend to criticize Something, only to be able and galvanize his/her own Ideology, and let it dominate the Others [while criticizing Other's Ideologies, if they dominate him/her! <– which is called the double moral Standard, and deserve not to be supported,

    notably by those who appearently like Universalism, Oneness, 1 Law for All, universal Brother-/Sisterhood or universal human/sentient Beings' Fellowship].

    Please, let me know, if you can and will [hopefully you will], what do you think about Anti semitism, what do you think about Arabo islamic Tenets versus Hebrew jewish Tenets, and if you know him or about him, what dou you think about Dieudonné [I will enclose here an Interview on an Iranian Channel]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3pvWdlOGK0

    Thank you very much in Advance for your precious Answer and lightful Enlightenment and inner and outer Happiness to you [single and plural], to us, to Every1.

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