12:31 GMT27 February 2020
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    Lawmakers in Greece have invited the wrath of Muslim hardliners by allowing the country’s Muslims to opt for the secular court system to resolve family disputes instead of relying on Islamic Sharia law. RIA Novosti correspondent Anton Skripunov looks at the possible outcome of this attempt to sideline Islamic courts.

    Above the Law

    After the death of her husband, 67-year-old Hatikha Sally initiated a lawsuit against the three sisters of the deceased for his property.

    She claims that shortly before her husband’s death, a will was drafted with the help of a Greek lawyer, naming her the sole inheritor of her husband’s property.

    However, the sisters of the deceased complained to the local mufti, who said that, according to the canons of Islam, a will cannot be made. First,

    Sally won the case, but then the Supreme Court upheld the mufti’s verdict. Now the elderly native of Thrace intends to "restore justice" with the help of the European Court of Human Rights.

    This is just one of numerous examples of a clear clash between the laws of Greece and those of its Muslim minority, many of whom live in areas along the border with Turkey.

    The Minister of Education and Religion Kostas Gavroglau believes that this complicates the country’s already tense relations with its Turkish neighbor.

    The authorities of all major EU countries are facing similar problems. Late last year, a scandal erupted in Germany involving a family of Syrian migrants who got divorced in 2013, according to Sharia law.

    A court in Munich later dismissed the move as “private,” resulting in a number of legal problems with the registration of a residence permit. Ignoring the protests of Muslim believers, the EU’s highest judicial body eventually agreed with the verdict handed down by the German court.

    Angered by the European courts’ disregard for their opinion, almost a third of French Muslims, most of them young people, now put the Koran above the country’s constitution.

    Right-wing Backlash

    A number of EU countries still made concessions to their growing migrant communities, with “Sharia police” recruited from volunteers, now allowed to patrol the streets in Germany and Sweden in areas regular law enforcement  rarely venture to visit.

    This, in turn, is fueling Islamophobic and right-wing radical sentiment among locals who feel frustrated by what they describe as Muslims’ “wild” traditions, such as "honor killings,” and the mandatory wearing of burqas by Muslim women.

    "It is one of the great ironies of multiculturalism: five European NATO members are now fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban who enslave women, while in Europe the same thing is taking place in our own ghettos,” Italian journalist Giulio Meotti said.

    It looks like people in the European corridors of power are waking up to reality, with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban warning about the growth of "parallel communities" with their own laws in the countries that accept refugees.

    "We do not consider these people as Muslim refugees, we regard them as Muslim invaders," this statement by Viktor Orban caused no condemnation  in Paris, Brussels and Berlin. Which is not surprising after all.

    "Illegal Sharia Law"

    Norms of Sharia law have been active in Britain’s legislative system for several years now. According to lawyer Leonid Syukiyainen, there are Sharia courts now legally operating on the basis of the 1996 law on arbitration.

    "Even in a number of countries in continental Europe, the law on the arbitration of disputes and conflicts allows the creation of such Sharia courts," he said.

    “Still, there are many Sharia courts which operate illegally and autonomously, ignoring and distorting not only secular but also Islamic legal norms. They have absolutely no legal significance," Syukiyainen added.

    However, it is not yet clear whether the EU really wants to fight these illegal “courts.” The never-ending debate about reducing the quota for refugees, the migrants’ alienation in ghettos and the rise of Islamophobia reveals Europe’s inability to deal with the problem.

    The views expressed by Anton Skripunov are solely his own  and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    READ MORE:German Die Linke Fears 'Muslim Brotherhood Could Try to Establish Sharia Law'


    German Die Linke Fears 'Muslim Brotherhood Could Try to Establish Sharia Law'
    Greek Parliament Adopts Law Limiting Use of Sharia Norms in Muslim Community
    Islamic courts, backlash, Sharia law, Muslims, EU, Giulio Meotti, Kostas Gavroglau, Hatikha Sally, Viktor Orban, Europe
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