Event: Choosing Sharia?



TIME: 13:15 – 14:15, Tuesday 12th January 2016

VENUE: Committee Room 4, House of Lords, Westminster, London


The Baroness Butler-Sloss (Chair), Dr. Rumy Hasan, Senior Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex Centre for Migration Research Dr. Machteld Zee, Author of ‘Choosing Sharia?’ and Dutch political scientist and legal scholar  Dr. David Suurland, Lecturer in International Law, terrorism analyst at Leiden University

To attend please RSVP to: rsvp@henryjacksonsociety.org


Proponents of multiculturalism do not usually subscribe to Islamist goals. Yet, across Europe, these are being furthered, sometimes accidentally. Sharia councils are often used to solve religious disputes, but can be at odds with western moral and legal principles of equality, freedom and justice. However, high-profile multi-culturalists tend to present a romanticised view of these councils, not recognising the ideology that motivates some of them and their practical consequences. Are Sharia councils a legitimate expression of the longing for identity, as multiculturalists claim? What do Islamists really want? And why do multiculturalists find it so difficult to counter their claim?

By kind invitation of Baroness Butler-Sloss, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a meeting with our panellists Dr. Machteld Zee, Dr. Rumy Hasan, Dr. David Suurland. Please RSVP to rsvp@henryjacksonsociety.org. Please note RSVPs must include your full name and any affiliations, including for any guests you wish to bring. We will send a confirmation which will be required to attend the event.


Dr. Machteld Zee is a Dutch political scientist and legal scholar. Her book Choosing Sharia? Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and Sharia Councils consists of an in-depth analysis of multiculturalism and Islamism as political ideologies and fieldwork in the United Kingdom, including visiting hearings at Sharia councils. Zee has written extensively about these topics and other imminent issues for numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Dr. Rumy Hasan is a senior lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, and author of Multiculturalism: Some Inconvenient Truths. He will argue that the desire for Sharia councils among some sections of the Muslim communities, and their tolerance by the authorities, is a manifestation of multiculturalism and multifaithism (the belief that Britain is a ‘multifaith society’). This inevitably leads to the demand for separate laws and exemptions to the law of the land, that is, to the slippery slope of legal pluralism.

Dr. David Suurland holds a PhD from the department of Jurisprudence at the faculty of Law at Leiden University. His thesis title is on Secular Totalitarian and Islamist Legal-Political Philosophy.


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