Honour killings aren't just a Muslim problem, says UK's first female Sharia judge

Tahrir Hamad (L), the first Palestinian woman justice of the peace, is seen presiding over a Sharia tribunal in the West Bank city of Ramallah. A network of similar institutions has sprung up across the UK, with some suggestion they are tantamount to a parallel legal systme

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The first female judge of a UK Sharia council says honour killings aren't solely a problem for Muslim communities and insists there is no parallel Islamic legal system.

Amra Bone spoke to Julia Harley-Brewer as MPs prepare to begin an inquiry into the role of Sharia courts in the UK.

She said: "Among the other Sikh communities, among other communities [in Britain], there are forced marriages and there are honour killings. These things take place.

"Even in Britain today, two people are killed every week, either by their partners or ex-partners. These things are across the board."

Responding to critics who say Sharia councils implement their own religious legal judgements and encourage Muslim appellants to ignore the British law, Bone said: "[Sharia courts] are not a parallel legal system. There's no competition, we live under the law of the land. Muslims want to live as citizens of this country and they do abide by the law. I think sometimes the issue is not understood very well.

"We can act as witnesses, we do not tell [those who come to a Sharia court] what to do. We just want to help them in what they want to be helped with."

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