A Government decision to allow Islamic courts in Britain the right to rule on family disputes and divorces has been condemned as discriminatory to women.
Civil rights campaigners are angry that ministers have approved plans to allow Sharia councils in Britain the right to settle disputes regarding money, property and access to children.
They say such tribunals are institutions for male domination which treat women like second-class citizens.
Couples who choose to use the Sharia system must get the ruling rubber-stamped by a judge sitting in an ordinary family court.
But neither party has to attend this hearing and approval can be obtained by filling in a two-page application.