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Thread: Scotland: Law Firm Offers Sharia Counsel

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    Scotland: Law Firm Offers Sharia Counsel

    A Scottish law firm has become the first in the country to offer clients “conventional” legal representation alongside advice on sharia law.

    Hamilton Burns, based in Glasgow’s south side, has teamed up with an eminent Muslim scholar who will counsel clients on the Islamic aspect of civil law cases, while solicitors give advice under Scots law.

    Clients will be able to see a Muslim lawyer who is fully trained in Scots law at the same time as they consult a sharia scholar who is an expert in Islamic law. It will be the first time such a service has been offered in Scotland.

    Despite public fears over what is deemed “creeping” sharia law, the firm stressed that the sharia advice was not legally binding and would mainly focus on giving Islamic guidelines on divorce or child custody based on rigorous readings of the Koran.

    Shaykh Amer Jamil, the Islamic scholar who will provide sharia advice, wants to make sure that Muslims have access to the correct religious ruling on matters such as divorce.

    However, critics and opponents accuse sharia of being a discriminatory and sexist legal system and an “extension” of the fundamentalist laws that allow hand amputations and stonings in countries such as Saudi Arabia.

    Niall Mickel, a solicitor advocate specialising in civil law and the managing partner at Hamilton Burns said: “We hope that by incorporating sharia family jurisprudence against a background of domestic Scottish legislation, we can provide our clients with as much *relevant information as possible to assist them in making the right choices.”

    He insisted the service offered is “uncontroversial” and compared it to informal religious advice sought from a priest or minister by a divorcing Christian.

    Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is also partner at the firm. She said: “It is difficult for Muslim women to seek divorce from their husbands.

    “If the position under Islamic law is made clear, then even though the husband might not want to take the Scots law step, women may then be able to do so.”

    The firm’s services would also help recent immigrants to Scotland, who are unsure of their rights under Scots law.

    Employees at the law firm admit that their groundbreaking decision has been controversial.

    One employee hinted that it was the fact that female solicitors were involved in the new initiative that was causing concern within some sections of the Muslim community.

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    This is just another step towards the Islamization of Europe. Arab Imperialism is still thriving today, just as it had way back then before the Crusades. This most disturbs and angers me because I have Scottish blood in my veins. Our only solution...

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