BBC — Tell the Truth About Sharia Law

Last week the BBC aired a program about sharia councils in the UK that failed to present all the relevant facts or quote any Islam-critical opponents of sharia.

Anne Marie Waters of Sharia Watch has written a letter of complaint to the BBC. The text, which was published at her website, is below.

She has also set up a petition at to demand that the BBC provide full and honest coverage of sharia law in the UK.

BBC — Tell the Truth About Sharia Law

BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington, DL3 0UR

Dear Sir/Madam,

Two inquiries in to the use of sharia law in the UK are currently on-going; one such inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, the other a Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry. Given this, the BBC has had cause to cover the issue of sharia law in recent weeks.

BBC coverage of this topic has been both unbalanced and incomplete, with vital information excluded.

Please address the following points.

On the Sunday Morning Live programme of November 6th 2016 (BBC1), sharia councils in the United Kingdom were discussed. At no point during the programme were the following facts mentioned:

Sharia councils in the UK are overwhelmingly run and overseen by men with a history of expressing jihadist and deeply misogynistic notions. For example, Suhaib Hasan — a senior figure at the Islamic Sharia Council — is on record as calling for “The chopping the hands of the thieves, the flogging of the adulterers, the flogging of the drunkards, then jihad against the non-Muslim” . Furthermore, Haitham al-Haddad, another senior ‘judge’ at the same organization, has stated clearly: “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife” . He also advocates “lashing” and “stoning”as punishment for adultery.[1] Why, on full discussion of sharia law in the UK, are these highly relevant facts not included?

Programmes did not mention the fact that a woman has no unilateral right to divorce under sharia law (even in cases of domestic violence) and are obliged either to seek the permission of a husband or a group of clerics, a woman’s testimony is worth less than a man’s, and fathers have exclusive rights over children.

Campaigners who seek the abolition of these councils were not present in any debate. All voices on the Sunday Morning Live programme, for example, were in favour of continually allowing sharia councils to operate.

Also on Sunday Morning Live, a guest announced that sharia law is “absolutely” compatible with UK laws, and this was left unchallenged. Given the ruling of the ECHR below, this is evidently untrue. Sharia law is not compatible with UK laws or norms, but at no point is the public informed of this by the BBC.

The Victoria Derbyshire programme, broadcast on November 1st, did not mention the above facts either. Furthermore, only voices of Muslim or ethnic minority women were included. During the programme, Shaista Gohir, the chair of Muslim Women’s Network UK, implied that some of those who object to sharia from a secular or Islam-critical perspective, were doing so “ using women’s rights as a guise”.[2] Gohir therefore implied that such critics are merely pretending to be concerned about women’s rights. This was not challenged, and no speaker who approaches this from a secular or Islam-critical perspective was present to refute it, or to offer their side of the argument. Muslims alone should not decide whether or not Britain can or should incorporate sharia law in to our legal system.

Of even greater significance however is the complete exclusion, from all coverage, of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)[3] in 2003. This ruling declared that sharia family law, the area of law being practiced in the UK, is “ wholly incompatible “ with human rights, due to its treatment of women. The ECHR’s annual review of 2003 included the following paragraph [emphasis added]:

The Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention . It considered that “sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it”. According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverged from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

Given the potential implications, both legal and ethical, of the above ruling, we contend that no coverage of the issue can be complete without its inclusion. Why did the BBC fail to inform the viewer of this ruling, despite it being brought to your attention by Sharia Watch prior to the debates?

As a publicly-funded broadcaster, the BBC has a duty to fully inform the public of the facts surrounding any issue. Moreover, it has a duty to include the voices of all communities and perspectives in the UK. This includes the duty to include those who approach the issue from a secular or Islam-critical perspective. Given that sharia law is derived from Islamic scripture, it is right and proper that Islam-critical voices be included. All people in Britain have the right to express a view on the inclusion of archaic and misogynistic pseudo courts in the British legal system.

We demand that the BBC explain why it has excluded vital information from the sharia debate and why its presenters left many dubious assertions unchallenged.

Does the BBC agree that all people, regardless of religion (or none) or ethnic background, have a right to participate in discussions surrounding sharia law, and will the BBC inform viewers of the vital ECHR ruling referred to above in all future discussions?

As licence-fee payers, we insist that the BBC give coverage to all voices critical of sharia law, and in particular, that it informs viewers of all relevant information surrounding the issue.

We look forward to your reply and your assurances that future coverage of this issue will include all perspectives and facts, so that the viewer is fully informed.

Yours faithfully,

Anne Marie Waters
Sharia Watch UK


14 thoughts on “BBC — Tell the Truth About Sharia Law

  1. The BBC “used” to stand for completely unbiased reporting of world news and affairs… currently, it is nothing short of ‘Pravda” or “TASS.” I believe they are the US equivalent of the “Lame Street Media” currently broadcasting the current lies of the globalist left because they the mouthpiece of the globalist left. Enough said…

  2. >> As licence-fee payers . . . ”

    Is forced payment in support of a declared point of view with which one disagrees, a violation of free speech? You may say what you will – excluding the call to murder, assault and theft – but you may not demand that I pay for your ability to do so.

  3. It is the ‘BBC Trust’ which has oversight of the BBC, it is known as a quango, a government appointed (and salaried) sinecure for the ‘friends’ of politicians.

    It is part of BBC Trust responsibility to ensure that Auntie Beeb is fair and unbiased – they are not very good at it, all they are good for is taking the money……

  4. A man may marry four wives at a time,
    And divorce them simply by quoting a rhyme.

    A wife is a chattel to buy, beat, and use,
    Obliged to submit, not allowed to refuse.
    She may not go out of the house alone,
    Or talk to a man who is not of her own.

    Though a woman may testify all that she can
    Her witness is rated half that of a man.
    She’s only entitled to half the share
    That a man will inherit if he is co-heir.

    In a marriage that founders it’s always the same,
    The man keeps the children, regardless of blame.
    For a guilty verdict where rape is averred
    There have to be four male witnesses heard.

    and more……
    “Your Easy Guide to Sharia Law”

  5. Meanwhile, a report by the BBC’s head of religious broadcasting, a Muslim, claims that there have been complaints about the over-emphasis of Christianity over other religions. We can guess the source of the complaints. Friday prayers on TV, anyone?

    • Why is anyone surprised by this?

      Let’s just rename the dear old auntie beeb
      The British Biased Caliphate and move on!

  6. The World Service which we get in Australia is like an Islamic Pravda. There is never anything remotely critical of Islam. Nothing about Rotherham, misogyny, terrorism, hate of Jews and gays, FGM or honour killings, nor about the scriptural basis of terrorism, and the propagation of it by Wahhabi philosophy- just garbage really.

  7. Good luck with that Ms Waters because as we all know the BBC never admits to being wrong. You will get some bull toilet excuse implying they ‘got it about right’. Still keep fighting the bar stewards as it all helps keep the pressure on.

  8. For some good answers, Brits should turn to Paul Weston at Liberty-GB. They have been struggling in the Courts to free BBC from foreign ownership ( read Arab ) but it is a financially exhaustive process which the general public doesn’t seem to be aware of. They need a lot of financial and legal aid to fight that broadcasting giant to free it from the grip of jihadists and their associated local investors ( traitors/proxies ).

    UK mainstream media is being controlled by Theo-fascists with their typical agenda of wilful deception.

  9. Some are telling me that if the BBC tells the whole truth about sharia that will just create divisiveness. Basically another Obama-like claim that nobody can do anything because anything anyone does will just make things worse. So just do nothing, apparently.

    Other people (Muslim) are claiming that Ann Marie is an “avowed neo-Nazi” and UKIP is a “neo-Nazi white nationalist organization.” I asked where she vowed to be a neo-Nazi and if there could possibly be any party that opposed EU membership and globalism that they wouldn’t call a “neo-Nazi white nationalist” group and didn’t get any answer.

    Yet other (Muslim) people are wondering why sharia needs talking about because it only applies to marriage law so what’s the big deal.

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