The UK feminist Women’s Equality Party has admitted it has no position on Sharia courts and laws.
In a brief email exchange, the feminist led-political movement admitted their they did not take a position on Sharia inspired laws or the many Sharia courts which continue to grow in number in Britain. The email came after activist, and PEGIDA UK campaigner, Anne Marie Waters questioned the group after receiving a promotional email from them.
Ms. Waters asked the group what their stance was on Sharia courts to which the group replied: “The Women’s Equality Party is a non-partisan political party and the issue of Sharia councils is a partisan one so we do not have a party line.” The group maintained, however, that they were working with “those who have been forced into marriage or suffered FGM (female genital mutilation) or honour-based violence.”
Waters’ reacted with disdain and dismissed the party’s stated purpose as looking out for the rights of women. She said in her reply: “I’m sorry but that’s absurd. This is a matter of fundamental importance for women’s basic rights, much less equality. It’s admirable that you want to support people forced in to marriage etc, but wouldn’t prevention be better? That involves some serious courage.”
Ending the email Ms. Waters accused the party of the same kind of “slacktivism” many on the left routinely exhibit when it comes to tough issues. She said: “It is clear to me that you will focus on uncontroversial matters while ignoring unimaginable cruelty to women right under your nose. Such a shame. Feminism has really become a joke.”
The Women’s Equality is headed by comedienne Sandi Toksvig who is a regular on various BBC panel programmes. Toksvig made news after she announced her possible intention of running for the position of Mayor of London last year at an event that included an imaginary orchestra.
Sharia courts in the UK have come under criticism by the government as many who are opposed to the courts accuse them of arranging marriages and facilitating the abuse of women. The courts are said to do everything they can to prevent divorce among Muslims and have little regard for battered women who wish to leave their husbands. The Sharia courts have even told women who have gone through secular divorce proceedings that “the secular divorce counts as nothing.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said that the government will launch an inquiry into the courts and that it must make sure the law is equal for all in Britain. “We will never countenance allowing an alternative, informal system, informed by religious principles, to operate in competition with it,” she said.
The results of the inquiry are expected to be released sometime this year.