UK’s First Female Sharia Judge: ‘We Can’t Ask Muslims Not to Have More than One Wife’
Britain’s first female sharia law judge has issued a brazen warning that flies in the face of UK law, stating that the “government cannot ask Muslims not to have more than one wife”.
The news comes on the back of a report by the Times newspaper which claims that Britain is experiencing a “surge” in Sharia marriages, as young British Muslims adopt a more hardline religious stance than their parents.
The Times reports:
“As many as 100,000 couples are living in such marriages, which are not valid under UK law, experts said. Ministers have raised fears that women can be left without the right to a fair share of assets if the relationship ends, while others are forced to return to abusive “husbands”.”
A leading Islamic family lawyer warned that the increase in Sharia ceremonies among the 2.7 million-strong Muslim population in Britain was also behind a growth in “secret polygamy”.
“Probably a quarter of all couples I see involve polygamy issues,” Aina Khan told The Times. “There has been a huge rise in recent years because people can have a secret nikah [Islamic marriage] and no one will know about it.”
The growth in a parallel marriage system that bypassed the register office was being driven by Muslims aged below 30, who were becoming more religious, she said. Other factors include finding a way around the expectation of no sex before marriage and a fear of British family courts, which presume that assets should be split equally.