Calls for Brent Sharia law councillor to resign

By Tara Brady

Politicians in Brent are calling for the resignation of a councillor after he advocated the introduction of Sharia law for British Muslims on a website, including the death penalty for women who commit adultery.

The remarks were a response to The Archbishop of Canterbury's comments made earlier this month in which he said the adoption of Sharia law in the UK seemed unavoidable.

Councillor Atiq Malik (pictured, left), (Democratic Conservative Group), wrote two blogs, one on the UK Polling Report website and one on the Conservative Home website. Both read: "If Muslims living in the UK are happy that disputes be decided by Sharia courts then what?

"The reason why male gets more share than women is that male members of the family have the responsibilty to provide living expenses to female members of the family.

"If an unmarried woman has an affair she is lashed 100 times. If a married woman has an affair she is stoned to death. What is wrong in it?"

But when the Observer contacted Mr Malik he backtracked on his original views and said he did not believe Sharia law should be introduced in the UK but that it was acceptable in Islamic states.

He said: "No I am not adovating Sharia Law in England. England is not a Muslim country. Sharia Law is the belief of Muslims and is part of Koran. In a Muslim majority country the Koran is the code of conduct. But it is not practical in England because it is not a Muslim country.

"Yes of course I believe in Sharia, it is our way of life. I don't see any harm in Muslims believing what is in the Koran."

But politicians from different parties have been outraged by the remarks and believe he should step down from his post.

Councillor Ann John, leader of the Labour group, said: "I was pretty shocked and I don't think he is fit to hold office. He should resign. He should be challenging his religion. It is disgusting.

"To think that whipping and stoning women to death is okay is appaling. We live in a liberal and democratic society but we still have a long way to go. Saying that this is exceptable whether here or anywhere else is not right."

Mr Malik was expelled from the Brent Conservative group in May last year for voting against Tory policy.

Councillor Bob Blackman, leader of Conservative group, said: "We live in the UK and our system of law works well for us. We can tolerate people having different views but such extremism renders him unfit to be a politician. These comments confirm the wisdom of the group to expell him and if the group had not already told him to leave then it would do now."

Meanwhile, a group calling for the introduction of Sharia law in the UK, has advertised a conference in Wembley on Sunday (March 1).

On the Islam for UK website it says a talk on the Islamic state will take place at Vale Farm Sports Centre in Watford Road, north Wembley.

However, Brent Council has issued a statement on its website stating: "Brent Council would like to be clear that the conference entitled The Islamic State - Past, Present and Future is not taking place at Vale Farms Sports Centre on Sunday.

"The centre has not been booked to hold this event and promotions stating this are misleading and inaccurate. Please do not attend this venue for such an event."

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