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I don't see what the big fuss is to be honest. The whole review seems to have been a completely pointless exercise and another attempt to police the Islamic faith. I think its all quite ridiculous.

British courts will recognise an Islamic marriage (or any other type of marriage for that matter) provided that the marriage was considered a legal marriage within the jurisdiction it took place, e.g. if a Pakistani married couple who performed their Nikah (which is the written marriage contract much like a marriage certificate) in Pakistan were to come to the UK to live it would not be necessary for them to also have a civil ceremony because the law recognises that that they are already married.

Therefore, if the true intention of this review was to ensure that women are afforded the same legal rights they would have if they were married under UK Law then why not simply allow the UK Courts to recognise any marriage regardless of where or how the ceremony took place provided that there is unequivocal physical/written evidence of the marriage between the respective parties? Surely that is a simpler solution?

The Sharia Councils are only there to advise on the legal formalities (according to Islamic law) associated with dissolving the Nikah. They have no power or authority to enforce their guidelines and ultimately, muslims who go to the Councils are guided by their own understanding of what is best to do in the circumstances.

Most mosques in the UK will not even perform a Nikah ceremony for a couple before they have obtained a Marriage Certificate. Some mosques even go as far as obtaining the authority to register the marriage so as a community we are already half way to achieving what this review was hoping to achieve.

If the law itself recognised all marriages and not just the civil registry then there would be no issue in respect of protecting women's rights. They would be protected as a matter of course.

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