Neither the expertise nor the legitimacy

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.



  1. Blanche Quizno says

    I would like to see the Law Society define Islamic law in secular terms – GENEROUSLY secular terms, meaning priority for women and children and men a distant second – and to hell with al-Fuckwit and the rest. Wouldn’t THAT burn their buttocks?? That would teach them to seek allies among those filthy kuffar.

  2. Kiwi Dave says

    Good grief. Why are people well-educated, one presumes, in western educational institutions and traditions so willing to jettison enlightenment values?

    And on another topic entirely, does anyone else have trouble with B&W sometimes freezing when using Safari on an iPad? (This is written in Firefox on my pc.) And do you have a solution?

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    You do realize that there are muslims in the Law Society, right? And that some of them will be conservative (not that the legal profession normally includes any conservatives, but it’s statistically possible /snark)?

    And which muslims will want advice on Sharia-compliant wills? The liberals? Thought not. It’s very likely that even if the work wasn’t necessarily done by British muslim lawyers that the work was given its impetus by British muslim lawyers and not so much by clients. If conservative muslims have a voice in the Law Society (and they surely do, just as conservative Jews, conservative Christians, conservative (and liberal, and wishy-washy, and moderate, and hard-to-classify) anygroup will have), and if it’s a project only conservative muslims care about, then it will be initiated with that slant.

    It’s not at all surprising to me that these sources are used. And as messed up as the sexist viewpoint reflected seems to me, if someone comes to me for legal advice (after I’m called to the bar) on how to disinherit a child of any gender in such a way that it will be legally effective (and not subject to revision under the local Wills Variation Act), I’m legally obligated to write the will that way or to refer them to someone who will. Even if they’re sexist as all hell.

    I don’t really see why the law society is doing this. The client should either come in knowing whom should be inherited or disinherited or should consult a mullah or imam for those details. It’s just the lawyer’s job to funnel the right money and property to the right people.

    Frankly, I see the ethical violation **from the point of view of law society rules** as being clearly in the area of advising the client whom to inherit/disinherit. We really shouldn’t be doing that. We should be advising on the law, that’s it.

  4. Blanche Quizno says

    Qur’an 2:83 And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse.

    Qur’an 2:177 It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing.

    Qur’an 2:215 They ask thee, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it.

    Qur’an 4:36 And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful,

    Qur’an 4:135 O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.

    Qur’an 4:171 O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion

    Qur’an 9:71 And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.

    Qur’an 16:90 Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk,

    Qur’an 17:26 Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    Perhaps the good barristers of the Law Society could draw these o-so-righteous Muslim men’s attention to the verses above 🙂 And if those asswipe Muslim MEN insist on being, well, asswipes, those good barristers could give them a look like this O_o and refuse to serve their hatefulness. Lawyers ARE free to turn away potential clients, after all.

  5. Omar Puhleez says

    Yes. All that.
    Except that Islam is one of the world’s great totalitarian ideologies, and the authoritarian types in the countries it has spread into use it to justify a multitude of barbaric practices.
    I don’t judge people by what they say; rather, by what they do.

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