I don’t mean to sound overly alarmist, but yesterday’s speech by Britain’s most senior judge, the chief justice Lord Phillips, delivered to the London Muslim Council, seems like a step in the wrong direction. Phillips noted:
“It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law. Those who, in this country, are in dispute as to their respective rights are free to subject that dispute to the mediation of a chosen person, or to agree that the dispute shall be resolved by a chosen arbitrator or arbitrators.”
Hmmm. Lord Phillips was quick to add that although sharia law’s principles could be used in mediation, this would still be subject to the “jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts”. But isn’t sharia law ultimately a law unto itself, a law that claims its authority on the will of Allah? In the minds of those who revere it, can it really be “subject” to the “jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts”? Equally troubling is Lord Phillips’ reflection that advocating the embrace of sharia law in the context of family disputes is not radical. When was the last time a woman had equal treatment in such cases? Read the BBC or the Guardian report.
Cal Thomas classifies the speech as surrender.