Sharia Law is alive and well in the UK as investigation uncovers shocking details
13:21, 5 DEC 2015
UPDATED 15:19, 5 DEC 2015
When one woman asked for help with her abusive husband, one judge allegedly laughed and said: "Why did you marry such a person?"
Muslim man arrives at Birmingham Central Mosque
An Islamic judge "laughed" at a domestic violence victim who had gone to him seeking help and asked her "Why did you marry such a man?", it has been claimed.
The shocking allegations have been revealed in a report into the use of sharia councils in the UK which also claims men only need to say "I divorce you" three times to separate from their wives while women need the sanction of clerics.
Dutch scholar Machteld Zee managed to get unparalleled access to a number of the religious courts currently operating in the UK - thought to number around 30.
Her report, entitled Choosing Sharia? Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and British Sharia Councils which has been seen by the Independent newspaper, also claims one judge, known as a qadi at a sharia council also said UK law did not matter in cases of divorce.
In one court in east London, it is claimed the qadi told a couple who had already obtained a civil divorce that the paper counted for nothing.
"She says he might have 10 wives for all she knows. He is currently in Tunisia. [The qadi] laughs a bit: Why did you marry such a person?."
According to the report, one qadi told Ms Zee that the council in east London deals with around 600 to 800 cases each year of women seeking divorce who are on the receiving end of "violence or maltreatment".
The qadi said: "As long as marriage is sacred, reconciliation is our job."
Protest: The subject of Sharia law is a divisive on in the UK
The findings from the report are due to go before Parliament in the new year.
In her report, seen by the Independent, Ms Zee claims judges at the religious courts uphold the theory and practice of the strong hold men have over women.
She also claims the courts do little more than set out to frustrate the wives of men who do not want them to leave - keeping the woman in an unhappy marriage.
In another incident, Ms Zee claims she saw another woman ask for a religious divorce from a husband she had not seen for four years.
The woman had allegedly already handed back an £8,000 dowry and £30,000 on top.
It is claimed the qadi responded: "Debt is not a cause for divorce. You should help him. Why dont you pay him more?.