Ministers have abandoned an inquiry into the rise of secretive Sharia councils that deal in Islamic justice – because the Muslim courts refused to help.
The failure of the Ministry of Justice probe has generated new fears among politicians and pressure groups about the increasing influence of Sharia courts.
They are worried the courts’ decisions may run against the law of the land, particularly in divorce settlements for women.
The scrapping of the inquiry comes in a week when Islamic extremists have launched a campaign to declare ‘Sharia-controlled zones’ across Britain.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, which has so far seen posters put on lampposts in several London boroughs declaring that within the ‘zones’ there should be ‘no gambling’, ‘no music or concerts’, ‘no porn or prostitution’, ‘no drugs or smoking’ and ‘no alcohol’.
The Daily Mail has previously published photographs of Choudary in his student days breaking all but one of the zone laws – holding a cannabis joint, downing a pint of cider, playing cards and leering at porn.
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