No, the heading is not an April Fool’s joke! Calls for a Parliamentary enquiry into Sharia Law have been made by the Member of Parliament for Huddersfield, Barry Sheerman MP.
The latest furore over an impeding Sharia-driven takeover of the legal profession was unfounded. Whilst issues of discrimination (of any sort) should be treated with the utmost seriousness, there is a danger of this debate losing all proportion.
But how prevalent is Sharia law in this country? For Labour MP, Barry Sherman, only a joint investigation by the Commons Justice and Home Affairs Committee will reveal the truth.
However, that may not be the most forward thinking solution. Cooler heads must prevail. After all, like the religion it derives from, the principle of Sharia is not monolithic. It is open to a variety of interpretations. The non-binding advice drafted for solicitors only covers the Sunni interpretation.
Not only that, any Sharia-complaint will must fall within the remit of English law. As pointed out by IBB Solicitors, “The new advice says that clients in England and Wales can legally choose to bequeath their assets according to Sharia, providing that the will is signed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Wills Act 1837.”
So there is no surrender to Sharia, as it will work within an established framework of English law.
As Nicholas Fluck, President of the Law Society, pointed out, “We live in a diverse multi-faith, multicultural society. The Law Society responded to requests from its members for guidance on how to help clients asking for wills that distribute their assets in accordance with Sharia practice.
“Our practice note focuses on how to do that, where it is allowed under English law”
For the English Defence League (EDL), this story created a new wave of conspiracy and racism.
“Ugly bearded monkeys take the piss out of our laws because our government is weak and useless.”
“The Muslim takeover is slowly happening in America, but there’s one difference. We’re armed to the teeth.”
“Are we creeping to total control by these people or creeping to civil unrest and civil war / revolution….or will there be a seismic political shift and the people “WE” elect carry out the will of the majority???”
If a debate is required, let us focus on fact and not conjecture. For too often, whether the issue is Halal meat or Sharia law, sensationalist reporting muddies the water of sensible debate.