A study by the thinktank found that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, many operating in mosques.Normally, I'd go and dig out the original report, and read what it says, but I've learned from previous experience that Civitas and the Daily telegraph are pretty much doppelgangers in ideology and relationship tot he truth. Civitas publish crap, and I've wasted hours reading it to arrive at the conclusion that it is crap. So I'll limit myslef to what the Telegraph says the report says, as it will probably be accurate enough.
It led to claims of a "creeping" acceptance of sharia principles in British law, but the Muslim Council of Britain dismissed the report as "scaremongering". (1)
Here's the stinger. These's 85 Sharia 'courts'? This is what they really are:
... Civitas estimates that the real number of Islamic "courts" operating in Britain is at least 85, as a result of scores of unofficial courts sitting in mosques in which imams make judgments on day-to-day disputes. (2)So the iman at the mosque says, "This is what we're expected to do as Muslims," just like a vicar might say "This is what the Bible tells us to do," and suddenly it's a Sharia Court?
Civitas has always been utterly shite in a poncey, Daily-Mail-trying-to-be-clever sort of way, but this is a belter, even by their standards.
1 - "At least 85 sharia 'courts' operating in Britain, says Civitas report," by John Bingham, published in The Daily Telegraph, 29th of June, 2009. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5675166/At-least-85-sharia-courts-operating-in-Britain-says-Civitas-report.html)
2 - ibid.