Will Britain Begin to Roll Back the Sharia State in 2012?
As the human rights-based campaign against sharia continues to gain momentum and becomes more diverse, and more mainstream, exciting developments begin to appear in legislatures around the world. Even the UK which has a history of bowing to the sharia agenda is no exception.
The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill was put before the United Kingdom Parliament under the sponsorship of Baroness Caroline Cox and received its first reading on 7 June 2011 and will hopefully make good progress in 2012. The summary of the Bill is as follows:
“To make further provision about arbitration and mediation services and the application of equality legislation to such services; to make provision about the protection of victims of domestic abuse; and for connected purposes.” (Quoted from HERE)
This Bill seeks to amend the 1996 Arbitration Act which was one of the biggest steps backward for women’s rights in British parliamentary history. The 1996 Arbitration Act allowed sharia courts make legally binding rulings based on the iniquitous and discriminatory principles of sharia such as the testimony of a woman being worth half that of a man. The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill seeks to remedy this situation and restore full equality before the law to Muslim women. A person’s religion should not impact on their equal rights as a citizen.
This is just one area where sharia had previously been allowed to subvert our traditions of freedom and equality by making inroads into our legal system. There are other areas where sharia principles have sneaked onto the statute book and those also need to be addressed. It is just as important to oppose sharia by stealth than it is to oppose sharia that takes a more direct approach. Hopefully the successful passage of this Bill will start things moving in a positive direction.