Antwerp: Shariah4Belgium opens Shariah court

Antwerp: Shariah4Belgium opens Shariah court

Via HLN (Dutch):

A court has been opened in Antwerp which handles marriage disputes and inheritance issues according to Islamic law. It's an initiative of the radical Muslim group Shariah4Belgium, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. Monica De Coninck, Alderman for Diversity (sp.a.), says that in itself it's good that religious instances mediate in their communities, though it would have been better if it weren't done by fundamentalists.

The Center for Islamic Services is housed in Borgerhout. According to its website it handles all cases of divorces, annulling marriages, reconciliations or matrimonial disputes in accordance with the Shariah of Allah, and can deliver a certificate where necessary.

Alderman Monica De Coninck stresses this is not a court which can pronounce and execute sentences. If it's simply a mediator, she sees no problem with it, and says that her department is monitoring Shariah4Belgium.

Vlaams Belang demands the Shariah court be closed down immediately. Filip Dewinter says that this court is a new step in the Islamization of Antwerp. He says that the constitution gives the courts a monopoly on settling disputes. You certainly can't have a parallel system of Sharia courts developing besides the official judicial bodies, which judges based on principles which clash with the values of our democratic constitutional state.