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  • Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

    BC Panorama has uncovered fresh evidence of how some Sharia councils in Britain may be putting Muslim women "at risk" by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages.

    In a small terraced house in east London, a woman and her husband argue before an Islamic scholar who sits on a dais above them in a room that looks and feels like a court.

    This is Leyton Islamic Sharia Council, and Dr Suhaib Hasan will decide if the woman can have a divorce. Her husband is refusing to grant her one and the couple have been coming here for a year.

    She accuses him of refusing to work, ignoring the children and verbally abusing her. He vehemently denies it. When Dr Hasan orders the husband to leave the room, the woman breaks down in tears.


    "I hate him, I can't even bear to look at him, he has ruined my life," she sobs.


    Dr Hasan sends the couple away for another month to try to save their marriage, with the help of Allah.

    Fearful women

    Leyton Islamic Sharia Council is Britain's oldest Islamic council and one of the most active, hearing about 50 cases a month - mainly marital disputes. Nine out of 10 are brought by Muslim women from all over the country.


    With an Islamic marriage, it is far easier for a man to divorce. The only way for women is through these councils.


    "We are not here just to issue divorces," says Dr Hasan.

    "We want to mediate first. We try to save marriages so when people come to us we try to reconcile them."


    But Islamic rulings given here are not always in the interests of the women concerned, and can run counter to British law.
    In Leeds I met Sonia, a woman who suffered extreme violence from her husband, who punched and kicked her and threw her down the stairs. He also hit their son. When Sonia got a civil divorce, the courts would allow him only indirect access to the children.


    Sharia courts are not allowed to interfere in child access matters, but when Sonia went to Leyton Islamic Sharia Council for a Sharia divorce, they told her she would have to give the children up to her husband.


    "I couldn't bear the thought of such a violent person having my children," said Sonia.
    "What was shocking was when I explained to them why he shouldn't have that access to the children, their reaction was - well, you can't go against what Islam says."


    Sonia stood her ground and eventually got Leyton Islamic Sharia Council to drop their demand.

    The council told BBC Panorama that when a marriage ends the question of access to children for both parents is crucial. Safety is paramount, it says, and any UK court order must be followed.


    We had seen the public face of Leyton Sharia Council, but we sent an undercover reporter to see what advice they would give a vulnerable female client. Her story was that her husband was hitting her.


    The government says domestic violence is a crime which should be reported to the police.
    But Dr Hasan told the undercover reporter: "The police that is the very, very last resort. If he becomes so aggressive, starts hitting you, punching you of course you have to report it to the police, that is not allowed."


    He went on to tell her that reporting the abuse to the police would be a final blow and she would have to leave the house and go to a refuge. He said that was a very "bad option".
    His wife, a counsellor at Leyton Islamic Sharia Council, also told the undercover reporter not to go to the police but to involve the family instead.

    'Dangerous'

    When Leyton Islamic Sharia Council were asked about the secret filming, they said it may be essential to involve the police and other authorities in cases of domestic violence but it can be a step with irrevocable consequences.


    We showed our secret footage from Leyton Islamic Sharia Council to Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West.

    Mr Afzal, himself a Muslim, said: "I'm disappointed but not surprised. Most of them [Sharia councils] are fine but there are some clearly like this who are putting women at risk."

    He described what he had seen as "dangerous" because if people were deterred from seeking help they could suffer significant harm.


    I met another woman who had tried to get a divorce from a different Sharia council in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.


    Ayesha's husband was in prison for violence, but Dewsbury Sharia Council told her she would have to go to mediation with him.
    "I said I can't do that because he's not even allowed near my house and because I am frightened, I can't face him... but they didn't take any notice," she said.
    Eventually Dewsbury Sharia Council agreed to see her without her husband but she had to face five men alone without legal representation. It took her two years to get a Sharia divorce.

    Dewsbury Sharia Council said they could not comment on individual cases but they were aware of the standing and gravity of UK court orders and would never advise clients to breach them. They said they could arrange separate meetings on different days to avoid such breaches.

    The women I met say Sharia councils need to be held accountable and investigated, and although they eventually freed themselves from unhappy marriages there are other women in Britain condemned by religious councils to miserable lives.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22044724

  • #2
    Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

    a lot of these 'sharia' councils are a joke anyway

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

      The UK Justice system fails vulnerable women, victims of domestic violence and abused children on a horrendous scale. They make a lot of noise and fluff about the crimes but in reality they do very very little; so it is not necessarily the best thing to involve them.

      I know of one case where a woman lost her children after going through the system having reported her 'husband' for domestic violence and instead of support they seemed to turn on her.

      This said, what appears to have been said at Leyton Sharia Court seems to be balanced and sensible; there are issues about going to the Police, she should involve the family on both sides but the Police is there as a final option.

      The Dewsbury ruling is incomprehensible to me and as with both cases I would like to see a little more evidence from the program makers who justified the Israeli murder of 11 unarmed civilians on a ship in international waters, who are known for their tabloidisation of serious issues.

      Basically if you go to a Sharia Court and they behave badly, go to another.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

        I had to deal with the shariah council a few years ago. Leyton is a big no no. I got angry uncle on the phone telling me off about not fulfilling my wifely duties, despite being seperated and being in a difficult marriage . I was intimidated at first and then I just asked him straight out what a mans duties are towards wife/ family, and then I asked him if a man is failing to oblige by his duties, why should I. Anyway, needless to say I never called them again.

        Next stop, Ealing shariah council where a sweet grandfather figure ( and not angry Muslim man) helped me.

        As I had some Islamic knowledge, I was aware of some of my rights so found it easier to stand my ground. I think Mudlims in general should educate themselves in matters of faith so they can feel more empowered when dealing with the likes of these organisations.
        Ibnul Qayyim رحمه الله said: "Don’t ruin your happiness with worry, and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism. Don’t ruin your success with deception and don’t ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday.
        __________________________________________________ _____________________________
        If you think about your situation, you will find that Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) that He doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you.

        You could be sleeping and the doors of the heavens are being opened with dua’as being made on your behalf, SubhanAllaah: perhaps from someone poor whom you helped, or someone sad whom you brought joy, or someone passing by and you smiled at him, or someone in distress and you removed it.. so don’t ever underestimate any good deeds."



        please donate to the Ummah forum sadaqa jariya project. Click on the link for for more information, and to make a donation- https://www.justgiving.com/sadaqah-jariyah-project/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

          Lets be honest here. Look at the people running these so called ''sharia councils''. As a muslim you need your head read to go to some of these.

          Having said that this is just another attack on islam form a media that looks for every opportunity. The main point they want to try and drive home is Islam = oppressed women.

          Strangely enough the best person for these matters (in my experience) is actually Anjem Chowdary. no costs, no rubbish and gets the job done to the point that he will write to the spouse or even attempt to visit etc. but he is enemy numero uno

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

            I'm liking the sound of a visit. Kick the door down and demand that husband signs there and then?
            Ibnul Qayyim رحمه الله said: "Don’t ruin your happiness with worry, and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism. Don’t ruin your success with deception and don’t ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday.
            __________________________________________________ _____________________________
            If you think about your situation, you will find that Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى) that He doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you.

            You could be sleeping and the doors of the heavens are being opened with dua’as being made on your behalf, SubhanAllaah: perhaps from someone poor whom you helped, or someone sad whom you brought joy, or someone passing by and you smiled at him, or someone in distress and you removed it.. so don’t ever underestimate any good deeds."



            please donate to the Ummah forum sadaqa jariya project. Click on the link for for more information, and to make a donation- https://www.justgiving.com/sadaqah-jariyah-project/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

              Well whatever the case is, I don't really take bbc as a reliable source as to the going ons back home.
              والمبادرة إلى التكفير إنما تغلب على طباع من يغلب عليهم الجهل - ابن تيمية رحمه الله - بغية المرتاد

              "Rushing towards takfir is an attitude which is dominant over those who are defeated by ignorance." - Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah [Bughyatul Murtaad, page 354]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                Originally posted by علي View Post
                Well whatever the case is, I don't really take bbc as a reliable source as to the going ons back home.
                Especially Panorama, it has a history of hype against Muslims.

                Another example of BBC anti-Muslim tosh:

                http://electronicintifada.net/conten...soldiers/12336
                Last edited by abubakarbristol; 08-04-13, 01:31 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                  They need young, intelligent, sympathetic people running these Sharia Councils.

                  Why do they have old guys in their 60s and 70s who are from 'back home' (and can barely speak English) ?
                  'Nor say of anything,"I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow" without adding, " if Allah (SWT) Wills" (18:23-24)

                  QuranExplorer.com, where you can Listen to the Holy Recitation and Translation online in Arabic and English : http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/ :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                    Originally posted by Peacenik View Post

                    Why do they have old guys in their 60s and 70s who are from 'back home' (and can barely speak English) ?
                    It appears jahil mentality is part of globalisation unfortunately. You only qualify if you have a A-level in backward mentality option "i love to ruin people's lives"
                    My Blog http://historyeyesopened.tumblr.com/ Watch out sister Nousername :o
                    Ummah forum mentality depiction by BBC (warning) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                      The question is not what the shariah councils are doing. The question is not what Panorama depicted. The question is "what was the purpose behind broadcasting this programme?". The answer is (as it so often is) that the British government are keen to place closer surveillance and controls of Muslim organisations whether it is mosques, madrassas or in this case, the shariah council.
                      The Lyme Disease pandemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u73ME4sVU

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                        The Dewsbury one is in fact ran by scholars. Yes, some of them may be from back home but they know the shariah and that's what matters in these cases.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                          Shariah councils operating in the UK have FAIL written all over them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                            Sharia councils by their very nature, fail everyone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are Sharia councils failing vulnerable women?

                              Originally posted by Kasabian View Post
                              Sharia councils by their very nature, fail everyone.
                              No argument from me on that one.

                              Comment

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