Monday, October 13, 2008

Dissent Over Sharia Courts

Following my earlier post, First Official Sharia Courts, Sadiq Khan Gordon Brown's new minister for race relations has attacked Sharia courts according to The Times. Last month it became known the government had sanctioned the first official Sharia courts, classified as arbitration tribunals. Five Sharia courts were already set up in England and two planned for Edinburgh and Glasgow. Sadiq Khan, a Muslim himself, says tribunals based on Islamic codes could entrench discrimination against women. Khan thinks there is a level of sophistication in Jewish law not apparent in Sharia courts, but surely these courts can only ever be voluntary and there should be no judicial role.

On the subject of Judaism and women, I remember going on a school visit to the Synagogue   in Edinburgh with my son's primary school when one little girl put the Rabbi on the spot by asking why women sat at the back. The Rabbi stroked his beard and thought for moment, then replied the men sat at the centre because they needed to be near God and under His watchful eye!


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