Hardline Islamic penal codes, such as the amputation of limbs as punishment for theft, would make Britain a safer and better place, the founder of the country’s oldest sharia court has told The Times.
Sheikh Suhaib Hasan, the secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council, said that the enforcement of such laws was "something to bring you more peace and security".
Dr Hasan, who presides over a More..sharia court in East London that rules on civil matters such as divorce, emphasised that he neither sought nor expected the implementation of the criminal penal code in Britain because it was not a Muslim country.
He said, however, that problems such as knife crime would be better resolved if harsher punishments were meted out because they worked as a deterrent.
Acknowledging the controversy surrounding any notion of support for hardline Islamic law in Britain, he said that he was merely expressing his point of view as a devout Muslim.
Dr Hasan, who was born in Pakistan and studied sharia in Saudi Arabia, was responsible for the introduction of the Islamic court system to the United Kingdom in 1982.
The Islamic Sharia Council began ruling on divorce cases for Muslims in Birmingham, and its remit has since spread to Leyton in East London, Manchester, Rotherham and Bradford.
Dr Hasan told The Times that such courts were a necessity for British Muslims dealing with personal matters such as marriage and inheritance: "This is a service we are providing to the community that can’t be provided within the British legal system. We don’t want to be in conflict with the British legal system at all; we are not interfering with it. We are only concerned here with the religious aspect, no more than that," he added.
(The Times - July 21, 2009)
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