by Julie Bindel
Thursday, 3
September 2020
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07:00

Sharia law is a threat to women everywhere

As the case of Afsana Lachaux's shows, its reach extends far beyond the Middle East
by Julie Bindel
Afsana Lachaux (centre, in blue scarf) joins her supporters chanting “bring Louis home” in 2015

Afsana Lachaux, a British woman who sought to have her divorce issued by a Sharia court in Dubai overturned and replaced by a British divorce, has been ordered to pay her ex-husband’s legal costs of £94,000. Afsana is seeking legal rights to see her child, and a divorce granted under British law would allow her to argue for those rights. But the British judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, backed the previous ruling by Sharia judges in Dubai, and Afsana is facing bankruptcy.

In 2013 the Dubai courts granted sole custody of her son, Louis, to the father Bruno Lachaux, a French Catholic. In 2015, he successfully persuaded the French court into recognising and ratifying the Sharia divorce and child custody rulings. Afsana, with the support of feminist campaigners, appealed against this ruling in the French higher court and won. The court found the ruling ‘manifestly discriminatory’ and sexist. So, expecting a British court to endorse the ruling of another European court and against the Sharia one, she applied for a divorce in London, where the couple had married.

But Mr Justice Mostyn ruled against her, and the Court of Appeal in London agreed, ordering Afsana to pay Lachaux’s legal costs. Permission to appeal at the Supreme Court was also turned down earlier this year.

By the time Afsana filed for a British divorce in 2016, she had not had any contact with Louis for three years.

Sharia is available to all expats in Dubai, although most choose to use the system of their home country. Lachaux chose to use a Sharia court, applying for a divorce and sole custody of Louis. He was granted both. It is not surprising: a divorced mother is forbidden by law to travel outside the UAE with her child without written approval from the child’s father. In 2014, the UAE passed a “children’s rights” law requiring all women to breastfeed until their child is two.

Sharia courts and councils also enjoy the support of some non-Muslim establishment figures. In 2008, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams said: “There’s a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law.”

Afsana has no rights as a divorced woman under British law and is left with six hours in total per year to spend time with her son. “I want Louis to meet his UK-based grandmother and his brothers,” says Afsana, “and to come to my home. Is that really too much to ask?”

Dubai is not the forward-thinking democracy the holiday brochures would have you believe, and women are officially second-class citizens. This is why it is particularly disturbing that Mr Justice Mostyn referred to Dubai as a “friendly nation” during court proceedings. It may well be for men, but it certainly isn’t for women and their children.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Julie, sharia law is a threat to all of us everywhere. But it’s too late to stop it now and the UK will be under sharia a few decades from now. This is the future that you liberals have engineered for us.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Indeed, my grandfather who fought in the war was alarmed by mass immigration. He once said ‘once you start letting them in they’ll try to change things to their way’. He was from a time before political correctness and multicultural mediocrity stopped us from stating the obvious.

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

`i got myself labelled by some (not all) as racist for querying the aims of multiculturalism during an indoctrination session in the eighties when training to be a teacher (I was a mature student, so not as gullible as many there present). I genuinely could not see what their aims were, and they were either unable or unwilling to explain them to me. Never believed it could work and was proved right, but not until it ws too late!

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

I’m a doctorate student and currently experiencing the same with my Critical Theory classes. I’m glad Trump is putting forward a motion to get rid of it.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You won’t find the woke brigade in any Islamic state so I wonder which one is the bigger threat and which one will prevail in the end?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Well to a considerable extent the Woke and Sharia are one and the same. Certainly, Socialism has a lot in common with Islam, as some of us worked out some years ago. This is why the Left is instinctively welcoming to Islam. And as well as the commonalities there is the basic fact of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ i.e. the enemy of the West is my friend.

Whatever, the die has been cast now and I see no way back.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Don’t worry, this will end in the ‘war’ predicted by St Enoch sometime ago.

Fortunately the ‘enemy’ are heavily concentrated in urban sites, that make for perfect ‘killing zones”.
Those few in the countryside, should be easy to hunt down as they are clearly distinguishable by their physiognomy and complexion.

The ‘war’ will be a European phenomena, and in fact only a repeat of previous purges.
Sadly as I am trotting along in the Valley of Death (VOD), I shall probably ‘miss’ it.

However being in the VOD does allow one to view these things dispassionately, rather as a harbinger of the inevitable. For years we have deluded ourselves and others, as the to likely consequences of mass immigration on a quiescent host community. Perhaps C-19 will prove the catalyst, but I suspect it will take a little longer, but come it will.

Gerry Fruin
Gerry Fruin
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Your probably following me Mark down the VOD. However, I listen to my grandchildren and I am not so sure the future is as you describe. I look around and see and hear many young people who will, I hope, change our general decline and create a different and better world. One day.

titan0
titan0
1 year ago
Reply to  Gerry Fruin

Ditto: But at the extremes one keeps the peace by being prepared for war. It doesn’t mean many might want one. And for my grandkids I hope for genuine integration before violent conflict is an outcome.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
1 year ago
Reply to  Gerry Fruin

Yes you are correct and I am being far too cynical and needlessly provocative. I call it Lock Down Syndrome (LDS) and apparently there is no known cure!

In fact my ‘research’ of the young leads to me to the same conclusion as you. Our young are made of the “right stuff”.
The only noticeable deficiency is their lack of knowledge about our History. Unless they go to a Private School, they seem to know almost nothing other than ism’s, Socialism,Feminism, Marxism, Fascism, Globalism and so forth. No chronological history of Britain from Day I to the present. There is also an obsession with Herr Hitler, to the exclusion of even worse killers, who appear to get off scot free.

Perhaps this just another dimension of LDS, but here in Arcadia, I am not alone with such comments.

titan0
titan0
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

The VOD. Love it! As for the zones of concentration making it easier, even tongue in cheek, I couldn’t have put it better.
I’m all for peace and some potentially racist banter between different thinking neighbours but non integration of the multi cultural kind was never going to be useful to the indigenous population and so I fear you may be right.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Perhaps we could learn from those states, then. How do they keep them away?

Dave H
Dave H
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

the UK will be under sharia a few decades from now

Wow, some people actually believe that!

No, it won’t.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave H

Some parts of some British cites are already, effectively, under sharia. Sure, it might take more than a few decades for this to cover the whole country, but it is a demographic and inevitability. The same applies to the rest of western Europe.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

really? I live in Tower Hamlets and I am not feeling the weight of Sharia Law on my shoulders

Christopher Collier
Christopher Collier
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

you’re a man

titan0
titan0
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

I doubt with a name like yours or mine, (I could be wrong), that the local mosque keeps you in the loop.
But never mind; according to the tatty bit of A4 on the board, it’s bingo night On Saturday at the church.

Dan Poynton
Dan Poynton
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave H

Dave, why would you sound so alarmed with someone mentioning the possibility of the UK being under Sharia in a few decades, as if it is a fringe conspiracy theory? Surely any rational person, armed with the present demographic statistics, would have to at least allow the issue on the table for consideration – and concern? Or are demographics considered “hate facts” now?

Dave H
Dave H
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Poynton

Because it is a fringe conspiracy theory, it’s that simple.
The demographics show that it’s a minority and will stay so.

I’m no fan of Sharia law, or the imposition of any religious code.

But to think the UK will come under it is an irrational fear.

Dan Poynton
Dan Poynton
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave H

Dave, you are not being rational. The demographics show that minority (and especially Muslim) populations are fast increasing proportional to the indigenous population of the UK. At the present rate this will mean that the indigenous population will become a minority at some point. In some areas this has even occurred. A Muslim mayor of London? A couple of decades ago that would also have been a “fringe conspiracy theory”. Now, rates can change, but at this point it doesn’t seem they will. Perhaps you have information to show they will change, but please save your “fringe conspiracy theory” for moon-landing deniers and flat-earthers. Remember, pointing out that the demographics are changing says nothing about one’s preference for the change.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago

Many men have a similar experience with our own divorce courts

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
1 year ago

Your objection is not to Sharia law per se, but to French and Dubai law, i.e. the law of her ex-husband’s country and the law of the residence of both at the time of divorce. People considering jobs in Dubai should beware, but it’s not obvious that a third country’s legal system should interfere; that way risks legal chaos, and I would expect that French law at least would be accepted.

Usually when Brits talk of Sharia, they are referring to religious courts in this country, not abroad. They forget that Catholics, Jews, and Anglicans and some other religions also have religious law and courts in this country, often discriminating against women. Their only enforcement power is excommunication or similar religious penalties, and their existence is clearly part of religious freedom.

Alison Sutcliffe
Alison Sutcliffe
1 year ago

But the French court was willing to overturn the original Sharia law judgment obtained in Dubai. Read the article again. The wife / mother was trying to get the French judgment recognised in the UK.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
1 year ago

The article is disingenuous. See the comment above by ‘Adrian’ who quotes the judge. The beef here seems to be that this woman didn’t get the bias in her favour that she, and her supporters, assume is her ‘right’.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Thank you both for the corrections. The initial French decision supported the Dubai decision, the appeal court didn’t. But anyway, it’s not about Sharia, but about the fairness of Dubai law and how it was applied in this case, and Adrian rightly points out the complexity.

Maggi Wilson
Maggi Wilson
1 year ago

I dont understand why the UK Court would not allow her appeal. Can anyone explain?

Alison Sutcliffe
Alison Sutcliffe
1 year ago
Reply to  Maggi Wilson

Mostyn J. held that Dubai was a friendly nation so was willing to recognise the original custody ruling even though the French courts had refused to recognise and enforce the earlier Sharia law judgment obtained in a Dubai court because it discriminated against the mother. Unfortunately, the English court was unwilling to take the same view. It is particularly disturbing because in the case of Princess Haya who was married to Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, the English court recognised that she would never be able to see her children again and granted her sole custody of their two children so they could remain with her in the UK.

Adrian
Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Maggi Wilson

From the independent, re. the Judges ruling on the case:

‘He concluded “both parties have told me lies from the witness box,
although the mother’s lies have been more extensive than those of the
father”.’

Judges don’t like people lying to them.

This doesn’t seem to be about Sharia law at all, more about a very ugly divorce case being tried in every court in the world, after the mother ran off with the child in the first place. In fact, that’s what the judge said:

“I do not accept that the proceedings were unfair. The mother was not divorced on traditional Islamic grounds and sharia judges did not stealher son.”

I’m afraid the article here is very one sided, and puts an unwarranted spin on messy real life, in order to turn it into a vastly oversimplified story.

I’m unimpressed.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
1 year ago
Reply to  Adrian

I’m afraid the article here is very one sided

How unusual from this author. There must be some misunderstanding.

M Spahn
M Spahn
1 year ago
Reply to  Adrian

I gleaned that I was not getting an accurate picture of the situation by how little sense the article made. The author could not be bothered to explain how a dispute between a British and French national ended up being adjudicated in Dubai in the first place. Did they live there? Who knows.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
1 year ago

I imagine Mostyn meant that Dubai was ‘friendly’ to the UK – a rarity in the Middle East, and therefore worth keeping that way.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
1 year ago

‘ A divorced mother is forbidden by law to travel outside the UAE with her child without written approval from the child’s father’. If my memory serves me correctly, I and my ex wife had to get written permission from my stepson’s father before we could take our stepson take to the USA. I can’t recall if the letter was required by the British or US officials or both.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

No mention of where the couple lived. Surely this is germane to the discussion. If the couple did not live in Britain, then why should the British courts overrule a foreign court? Just dissolve the marriage. Dubai is a vile country. The couple probably went to live there so that they could enjoy the cheap labour on offer.