30th April 2007
Your front page story today (Now Muslims Get Their Own Laws in Britain, Daily Express, Monday 30th April 2007) continues the longstanding Daily Express policy to misrepresent and demonise Islam and British Muslims with a clear view to inciting hatred of them.
Contrary to your incendiary headline and news story the Shariah courts that exist in the UK deal entirely with civil matters such as marriage and divorce. Under English law people are free to devise their own way to settle a dispute before an agreed third party. The Shariah courts do not at all deal with criminal issues which are a matter for the British courts.
The British Jewish community have a similar but far more widespread and established system of courts known as Beth Din. Strangely though, neither the front page Daily Express story nor your editorial saw fit to mention this. We can only guess that this was because it would have exposed the sham nature of your story and have undermined the whole purpose behind the exercise: which is to single out British Muslims and portray them as being subversive, anti-democratic and separatist.
To add further insult, your story contains a quote from me saying that: We believe one legal code should apply for all citizens of the UK. There is no place for multiple legal systems for people of different religious or ethnic backgrounds.
Please note that this quote was not given to your reporter, Paul Jeeves, by me. I have never spoken with Paul Jeeves about Shariah courts. I can only imagine he cut and pasted this quote of mine from over a year ago when I was discussing the possibility of a dual criminal code system operating in the UK not civil code.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330,