Muslims seeking Beth Din advice

The Islamic Sharia Council in London has held meetings with Jewish groups to learn about the Beth Din system as part of plans to develop a similar style of Muslim arbitration, TJ has learned.

Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks about allowing aspects of Sharia law in UK legislation, an advisor to the Islamic Sharia Council in Leyton told TJ this week that meetings have been held with the Three Faiths Forum and the Federation of Synagogue’s Beth Din over the last two years aimed at learning lessons from the Jewish experience.

The advisor, Dr Usama Hasan, also Director of Muslim network the City Circle, said there is a lot to learn from the Jews. He told TJ: “The issues are very similar. I am sure Muslims would be happy to learn from the Jewish experience, there is no point reinventing the wheel. The Beth Din system has operated for around 70 years, the Sharia Council only started in the 1980s, Jews are about 50 years ahead.”

Hasan was part of a delegation which visited the Federation Beth Din in Hendon last year. He said: “We were shown around the courtroom and learned about the aspects of Jewish law.”

Totally Jewish, 14 February 2008