The Perils of privatized marriage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Governments around the world continue to struggle with how to accommodate religious minorities in an increasingly pluralistic society. In February 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury called for a “plural jurisdiction” in which Muslims could choose to resolve family disputes in religious tribunals or in British courts. A firestorm of controversy erupted in response. The Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, protested: “It would be impossible to introduce a tradition like Shari’a into [the] corpus [of British law] without fundamentally affecting [the] integrity” of British law. Prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra called these fears “Islamophobic,” but observed, “[T]he vast majority of Muslims do not want to see a parallel … system for Muslims in our society.” Lawmakers responded to the Archbishop’s comments. Nick Clegg, Britain’s Liberal Democrat leader, stated: “Equality before the law is part of the glue that binds our society together. We cannot have a situation where there is one law for one person and different laws for another.” The Prime Minister proclaimed that “British law should apply in this country, based on British values.” On the heels of the Archbishop’s comments, British authorities reported that 17,000 women were victims of honor-related violence annually, raising caution flags about how women, and children, will fare in such a system – the subject of this chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMarriage and Divorce in a Multicultural Context Multi-Tiered Marriage and the Boundaries of Civil Law and Religion
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781139013789
ISBN (Print)9780521194754
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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