Beth Din safe under us, government tells Board of Deputies


Government plans to investigate Sharia courts will not include a review of the Jewish religious court system, the Board of Deputies has said.

Outlining Conservative Party plans to tackle extremism in a speech on Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May said there was a “problem” with the application of Sharia law in some parts of Britain.

Mrs May said: “We know enough to know we have a problem, but we do not yet know the full extent of the problem.”

Announcing plans for an independent investigation, she cited Sharia issues relating to divorce and the treatment of women under Islamic rulings.

But a Board spokesman dismissed fears that Jewish courts could also be considered for investigation and said the Home Office had given assurances that there were no plans to review Batei Din.

“There is no evidence that they are working in a way that is incompatible with the law,” the spokesman said.

“The government accepts the existence of Sharia courts, just as it accepts Batei Din courts, but ministers want to make sure that the Sharia courts are operating in accordance with the law.”

The Board said it had consulted Home Office officials twice in the past month. Its Jewish manifesto for the election had been used to formulate the anti-extremist policies relating to neo-Nazis and Islamists announced by Mrs May, the spokesman said.

Mrs May also highlighted the Community Security Trust’s work to record antisemitic incidents in Britain, and announced plans to tackle extremists who “reject our values”.

She said a Tory government after the election would use measures such as the closure of premises owned by extremists and special officers to tackle extremism in prisons.

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