Baroness Cox has called for a judge-led inquiry into Sharia courts, claiming there is widespread religious discrimination against Muslim women across Britain.
Her comments came at the launch of her report, A parallel world: confronting the abuse of many Muslim women in Britain today, published in association with Conservative think-tank The Bow Group.
In the 40-page report, Baroness Cox outlined several cases where British Muslim women have been treated with injustice or abuse because of the practice of Sharia law.
According to the report, many Muslim women can be left unaware of their legal rights or feel under pressure not to seek professional help that could bring ‘shame’ or ‘dishonour’ on their families or communities.
One woman, quoted in the report, said, ‘I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this and the situation is worse here than in the country I escaped from’.
The report outlined the provisions of Baroness Cox’s Private Members’ Bill, which would curb the growth of quasi-legal systems such as Sharia courts, in England and Wales. She is seeking to re-introduce the Bill in the next session of Parliament.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Baroness Cox said, ‘We cannot continue with the present situation where vulnerable women are suffering from coercion, intimidation or unfairness’.
The announcement came as the government confirmed the publication of its review into the Muslim Brotherhood, known as the Jenkins review, would not be published until after the general election.