A senior Muslim cleric in charge of Britain’s largest group of sharia law courts has claimed that there is no such thing as rape within marriage.
By Tim Ross, Social Affairs Editor
Published: 7:00AM BST 15 Oct 2010
Maulana Abu Sayeed of the Sharia Council of Britain Photo: AFP/GETTY
Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed said that sex without a wife’s consent was “not good” but could not be called rape.
Sheikh Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council, was criticised by police and moderate Muslims, who warned that his remarks would make women more reluctant to report sexual assaults.
Rape within marriage has been illegal in Britain since 1991. But according to Sheikh Sayeed, rape is defined in Islamic law as adultery by force. Therefore, if a husband forces himself upon his wife the attack cannot be termed “rape”, he said.
In an interview with the website The Samosa, he said: “Clearly there cannot be any ‘rape’ within the marriage. Maybe ‘aggression’, maybe ‘indecent activity’.
“It is not an aggression, it is not an assault, it is not some kind of jumping on somebody’s individual right. Because when they got married, the understanding was that sexual intercourse was part of the marriage, so there cannot be anything against sex in marriage. Of course, if it happened without her desire, that is no good, that is not desirable. But that man can be disciplined and can be reprimanded.”
Dave Whatton, Chief Constable of Cheshire and spokesman on rape for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said most rapes were committed by someone known to or in a relationship with the victim.
“It is a fundamental principle that sharia law should not replace the laws of the UK,” he said. “Putting out views that rape can be dealt with in another way fundamentally undermines everything we are trying to do.”
Excuse me but . . . why are there Sharia courts in Britain?