Differential Treatment – The Road to Equality Paved with Discrimination? Case Study of Sharia Law and Gender Inequalities in Great Britain
The main question underpinning this research is the challenge of managing diversity in plural societies, especially when minority practices are incompatible with Western liberal values. The dilemma is whether to tolerate and even support minority practices in the form of differential treatment, or to equalize the rights of all citizens which could consequently infringe upon minorities’ cultural and religious rights. One of such controversial practices is Sharia law which operates in Great Britain for the last three decades, albeit not officially recognized. Studies have shown that a significant number of Muslims would want to see elements of Sharia law implemented in British legal system (Hennessy and Kite 2006), but its problematic regulations in terms of marriage, divorce and inheritance – which treat men and women in unequal ways – keep raising concern. This thesis aims to examine the relationship between Sharia Councils and gender inequalities they allegedly perpetuate by addressing primarily the validity of arguments for which they are criticized and secondly by anticipating the success the Bill would have in furthering Muslim women’s rights.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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