British Labour government rejects sharia call
London - The British government Thursday rejected calls by the leader of the Anglican Church that Islamic (sharia) law should be introduced in the country to promote social cohesion. "The Prime Minister believes British law should apply in this country, based on British values," said a spokesman for Gordon Brown.
The comment was seen as a sharp rebuke for Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Church, who said earlier Thursday that he believed that the introduction of sharia in Britain was "unavoidable."
Brown's spokesman said it was the government's position that Islamic law "cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English law, nor should the principles of sharia law be included in a civil court for resolving contractual disputes."
However, the government was prepared to look at the application of sharia law on a case-by-case basis, for instance in relation to the taxation of property purchases, to avoid Muslim citizens having to pay such duty on sharia-compliant mortgages.
"In general terms, if there are specific instances that can be looked at on a case-by-case basis, that is something we can look at."
1) British Labour government rejects sharia call