Campaigners have voiced concerns over a growing number of non-Muslims using Islamic law to resolve legal disputes in Britain despite controversy over the role of sharia law.
A spokesman for the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) said that there had been a 15% rise in the number of non-Muslims using sharia arbitrations in commercial cases this year. Last year, more than 20 non-Muslims chose to arbitrate cases at the network of tribunals, which operate in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Nuneaton and Luton. "We are offering a cheap and effective service for Muslim and non-Muslims," said MAT spokesperson Fareed Chedie.
"95% of the people who come to us for arbitration do not feel they need legal representation." Chedie said that tribunals deal mainly with civil and commercial cases, including mosque disputes referred by the Charity Commission. But the tribunals have also continued to hear cases in the field of family law and divorce, Chedie said.