What is Sharia and what should be our attitude towards it? These questions, which have intermittently swirled around Britain in recent years, have just re-erupted thanks to a recent story in the Sunday Telegraph.
The story revealed that The Law Society — the body which represents and advises solicitors in England and Wales — has drawn up guidance for its members on how to draw up wills in accordance with Islamic law. The document can be seen here. As the Telegraph pointed out, High Street solicitors in England and Wales will now be assisted in drawing up documents that refuse women an equal share of inheritance and that discounts the potential inheritance of non-believers entirely. Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, told the Sunday Telegraph that the document, which would be recognised by the national courts, would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles. The paper claims that this document effectively enshrines Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.
Since this is such an important matter it is crucial to note what is right and what is wrong about this story. First the good news: this is not the first entry of Sharia into British law. Now the bad news: it has happened a lot already. This is just one in a string of such developments.