Muslim Extremists Seek Sharia Law in UK Towns

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BRADFORD, England - Extremist Muslims in the United Kingdom are calling for the establishment of Islamic states complete with Sharia law.

Muslims Against the Crusades is the controversial group proposing that two towns in Yorkshire and one in East London be turned into states ruled only by Islamic law, entirely outside British common law.

One Muslim imam said any plans to enforce Sharia law in the United Kingdom are farfetched. Still, Christians are worried.

"The idea of bringing Sharia here is total non starter. It's nothing but a publicity stunt," the imam said.

"Most Muslims, the vast bulk of law-abiding productive citizens in this country, do not wish to have Sharia law here," he said. "If we wanted Sharia law, we would go to a country that practices Sharia law."

Local Christian leaders in Bradford, one of the towns affected by the proposal, are deeply disturbed by the plan.

"What worries me about it is it frightens people in the country, because although it's a small group, [it's] a very extreme group," Bradford Cathedral Dean David Ison told CBN News.

"They try to get as much publicity for their cause as they can," Ison continued. "And it worries people, that somehow the idea that we're all going to be subject to Sharia law even though it's never going to happen."

Scottish international Bible teacher Terry Quinn is on a mission to relaunch Smith Wigglesworth's Bowland Street Mission in this Islamic area of Bradford.

"I am concerned with any extremist group because at the Wigglesworth center, it goes against everything we're doing, building fantastic relationships with the Muslim people," Quinn said.

"Our landlord is a Muslim and many, many Muslims in this area are welcoming everything we're doing at the Smith Wigglesworth center," he said.

"So the extremist group and their opinions don't represent what the Muslims in Bradford really believe," he added.

Some government officials in the towns also agree that the Muslims Against the Crusades proposal doesn't represent the wishes of most of the Muslim population there.

Still, Christians are fighting the proposal, saying Islamic law isn't compatible with Britain's Christian heritage and values.

Last month, Baroness Caroline Cox introduced a bill into the House of Lords to protect Muslim women from abuses under Sharia law.

"In Britain, we have a country where many people have died to protect the democratic freedoms enshrined in our laws and our culture," Cox said.

"And we have now allowed an alternative quasi-legal system to develop in our land, which is fundamentally incompatible with those democratic freedoms and where many citizens, especially women, are suffering as a result," she said.

The Christian Institute supports Cox's legislation. The group's communications director Mike Judge said the latest announcement is proof that Islamists are seeking to impose their extremist views on British society.

"There are some British Muslims who want to impose Sharia law on their communities and that's precisely why we're backing Lady Cox's bill in the House of Lords," Judge said.

"Her bill will stop Sharia law [from] taking root as a parallel legal system, and it's going to ensure that there is equality before the law particularly for vulnerable Muslim women," he said.

Though the Sharia law will likely fail, Christians say it's important to take a stand against the increasing Islamic influence in their nation.

*Original broadcast July 15, 2011. 

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CBN News
Peter Wooding

Peter Wooding

CBN News United Kingdom Correspondent

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.