Breitbart Texas confirmed Tuesday that “an Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law” is indeed operating in Texas. But not to worry: an attorney for the tribunal assures us that participation is “voluntary,” and one of the Sharia judges, Dr. Taher El-badawi, says it’s devoted only to “non-binding dispute resolution.”
This is how it starts. This is how it started in the United Kingdom. When Sharia courts were instituted there, Muslim and non-Muslim officials alike all assured the British public and the world that they would be voluntary, restricted to matters involving non-criminal matters, and subject to the British courts. Any areas in which British law and Sharia law conflicted would be referred not to the Sharia courts, but to the British courts.
That is not how it worked out. The Telegraph reported in August 2011 that “there are growing concerns” that the Sharia courts “are creating a parallel legal system — and one that is developing completely unchecked.” The Independent stated in April 2012 “some Sharia law bodies have been misrepresented by the media as being transparent, voluntary and operating in accordance with human rights and equality legislation. This is not the case. Many Sharia law bodies rule on a range of disputes from domestic violence to child residence all of which should be dealt with by UK courts of law.” Instead, “they operate within a misogynist and patriarchal framework which is incompatible with UK legislation.”
And in July 2013, the BBC (of all places) announced a video expose of the Sharia courts:
A BBC Panorama Documentary goes undercover in one of the 85 sharia courts operating as a parallel legal system in the UK, uncovering the extensive abuse of women, refusal to grant divorces, charging of the woman but not the man for divorce proceedings, and even the taking away of the woman’s children, and rulings contrary to British law.
Now this is coming to Texas. Sharia judge El-badawi said this about the Islamic divorces his tribunal would be dealing with: “While participation in the tribunal is voluntary, a married couple cannot be considered divorced by the Islamic community unless it is granted by the tribunal.” He readily owned up to how sexist the process is: “The husband can request the divorce directly from the tribunal. The wife must go to an Imam who will request the divorce for her.”
Even worse, the UK’s Telegraph reported this about the Sharia courts in its August 2011 report:
After being beaten repeatedly by her husband — who had also threatened to kill her — Jameela turned to her local Sharia council in a desperate bid for a way out of her marriage…In an airless room in the bowels of the mosque, Jameela is asked to explain why she wants a divorce. She replies that her husband spends most of his time with his second wife — Islamic law allows men to have up to four wives — but complains he is abusive whenever he returns to her home.
Her request for a divorce was denied. “For the sake of the children, you must keep up the facade of cordial relations,” the Sharia judge told her. “The worst thing that can happen to a child is to see the father and mother quarreling.”
The Telegraph article adds ominously: “While a husband is not required to go through official channels to gain a divorce — being able to achieve this merely by uttering the word ‘talaq’ — Islamic law requires that the wife must persuade the judges to grant her a dissolution.” El-badawi sounds as if he is planning to set up the same system in Texas.
Will the Texas Sharia court also turns a blind eye to spousal abuse, like the British Sharia court that heard Jameela’s case, in accord with this Qur’anic directive? “Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for Allah’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them.” (Qur’an 4:34)
You think that couldn’t happen in Texas? When asked what he would do when Islamic law conflicted with American law, El-badawi said: “We follow Sharia law.”
The dehumanization and diminishment of women is universal in the Muslim world. Muslim women can’t go against what their husbands and Sharia judges decide, no matter how many times the Sharia courts insist that they’re “voluntary.” Above all, they can’t go against what Islam says.
These Sharia courts are vicious, misogynistic, and brutal. The host countries have no clue what goes on in these “tribunals.” They should be banned in Western nations. Instead, they’re coming to Texas – and probably soon to your state as well.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.