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Home Secretary announces review of application of Shari’a law

Wives divorced under Shari’a law ‘left in penury’

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has announced that there will be an independent investigation into the application of Shari'a law in England and Wales.

In a speech in London focusing on Islamic extremism, Ms May referred to problems concerning the divorce of Muslim women.

She said:

"There are some areas where – like in the application of Shari'a law – we know enough to know we have a problem, but we do not yet know the full extent of the problem. For example, there is evidence of women being "divorced" under Shari'a law and left in penury, wives who are forced to return to abusive relationships because Shari'a councils say a husband has a right to "chastise", and Shari'a councils giving the testimony of a woman only half the weight of the testimony of a man. We will therefore commission an independent figure to complete an investigation into the application of Shari'a law in England and Wales."

The Home Secretary also said that there is to be commissioned an all-force inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary of the police response to 'honour' crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

For an article about Islamic marriage, divorce and dowry by Charlotte Proudman, please click here.

For more details of the general themes of Theresa May's speech, please click here.