Sharia Review Secretariat
Dear Mona Siddqui
RE: Independent Review into Sharia Law
Thank you for your invitation to give evidence to the Sharia review.
We will not be able to accept your invitation. We are boycotting the review because of its limited terms of reference; the panel makeup (including yourself – a theologian – as chair and a former Judge who is a member of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship); imams as ‘advisors’; and your labelling the legitimate concerns of women’s rights campaigners and organisations as ‘arrogant’. The above confirm our fears that the review will be nothing but a whitewash aimed at further legitimising parallel legal systems at the expense of women’s rights.
Our concerns have been clearly laid out in an open letter to the then Home Secretary signed by nearly 200 prominent women’s rights campaigners and organisations to which we have yet to receive a response.
As mentioned in the open letter, minority women deserve an independent, impartial, judge-led inquiry centred on human rights and not theology. Theologians and those invested in augmenting religion’s role in the law cannot impartially investigate a system from which they benefit. As testimonies gathered from women reveals, religion in the law is discriminatory particularly against women. Any review that does not look into the full extent of rights violations of Sharia bodies from a human rights perspective cannot be considered a legitimate review nor taken seriously.
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law for All
Gina Khan, Spokesperson, One Law for All
BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731