Various media reports indicate that Sheikh Suhaib Hasan, a British Muslim of Pakistani origins linked to the global Muslim Brotherhood, plays an important role in Sharia courts in the U.K. According to one report:
[Dr. Hassan] and a panel of seven to 10 Islamic scholars hear about 50 divorce cases a month at the Islamic Sharia Council, formed 25 years ago, sometimes settling disputes with couples as far afield as Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. As well as divorces and the division of dowry when a marriage ends, the panel rules in disputes over inheritance, contractual disagreements between Muslim landlords and tenants and sometimes between employees and their employer. Even if a problem — such as divorce — has been dealt with in a British civil court, many Muslims like a sharia settlement as well so they feel they have done their religious duty. “As far as marriage goes, we complement the work of the civil court,” said Hasan. “Even after getting a civil court decision, for some people their conscience is not clear until they have an Islamic court decision as well.” Hasan, 55, is frequently called upon to give evidence in British courts as an Islamic scholar, helping the civil courts give balanced judgments in cases involving Muslims. Lawyers often send Muslim clients to Hasan, believing a sharia court will be a better place for settling disagreements.
Another report describes Hassan’s Shariah Council as the most prominent of the 10 Shariah councils in Britain and that he graduated from an unspecified institution in Medina, Saudi Arabia, studied under the late Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abulaziz bin Baaz and a number of prominent clerics in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and is also a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR). The ECFR is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The same report describes the work of the Council:
Dr. Suhaib and a committee comprised of seven to 10 Muslim clerics who represent the four traditional Sunni schools; Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali and the school of Ahl al Hadith [the compilers of the prophetic tradition]examine over 50 divorce cases annually at the MCB and settle disputes between couples worldwide, including Denmark, Ireland, Holland, and Germany. Sheikh Suhaib also revealed that various Shia Muslims have turned to them to resolve marriage, divorce, and inheritance disputes. This committee convenes once a week at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park, London, to examine reports that have been prepared by local judges who are affiliated to the council and who practice in Birmingham, Bradford and Leyton and other cities, according to Sheikh Suhaib…Aside from the divorce cases, the MCB also legally resolves disputes over inheritance, in addition to differences in contracts between owners and tenants and sometimes even considers conflicts between staff and employers. In some cases, divorces are first resolved in British civil courts, however; many Muslims still resort to Shariah law as well….When asked if there were any women judges among the committee members, Sheikh Suhaib said that they had not encountered a woman who was qualified to occupy the aforesaid position.
The report goes on to say that Hassan feels the recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury on incorporating Islamic law into U.K law were misunderstood:
The great misunderstanding is that when people hear the phrase ‘Shariah law’ they immediately think of amputating hands and public execution,” said Sheikh Suhaib, furthermore stressing that there is no desire among the Shariah jurisprudents to establish Shariah criminal courts in Britain.”There are 57 Islamic states worldwide and only two or three of these nations enforce the Shariah penal code ‘“ so why would we want to do that? This is Britain and such a thing would not be tolerated,” he said.”Shariah will never replace civil courts, which are indispensible, however it intercedes to complement the rulings and either approve or reject divorce from an Islamic standpoint. [Muslims] abide by the law of the land, however they consider it to be administrative law not a religious one,” Sheikh Suhaib stated. “Matters of marriage and divorce are religious in nature, they are not state matters,” he said, “When people resort to civil law, they feel that they have not fulfilled their religious duty.”