The Independent reports on a meeting between Muslim ‘leaders’ and Ruth Kelly:
Dr Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK and Ireland, said he had asked for holidays to mark Muslim festivals and Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims.
Dr Pasha said he was not seeking sharia law for criminal offences but he said Muslim communities in Britain should be able to operate Islamic codes for marriage and family life. “In Scotland, they have a separate law. It doesn’t mean they are not part of the UK. We are asking for Islamic law which covers marriage and family life. We are willing to co-operate but there should be a partnership. They should understand our problems then we will understand their problems.”
He said that Ms Kelly had said she would “look sympathetically at all the suggestions” that had been made. He added: “She agreed with my suggestion [that] it should be a partnership approach.”
But after Dr. Pasha’s decision to tell the media what he thinks the Minister’s attitude to his requests was, I would certainly “look sympathetically” on a statement from Ruth Kelly making clear that there is absolutely no question of any form of Sharia law being introduced for anyone, anywhere, in the UK ever.