Why is secularism important in the UK today?

On Sunday 15th February, following a brief AGM,
Secular Lawyer Sadikur Rahman gave a talk on
“The Importance of Secularism in the UK today”.


John de Prey writes

“Sadikur Rahman, an active member of the Lawyers’ Secular Society (LSS), explained that secularism means the absence of all religious interference from the governance of the state, and freedom of religions within the state without privilege to any one. These things are not found in theocracies such as Shi’a Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia, and the rule of the Taliban and Isis.

Recently, in the UK, the Law Society drafted a guideline for lawyers creating wills based on Sharia Law. This included the words: “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised. Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir”. This draft guideline was challenged by the LSS and subsequently dropped by the Law Society because it was agreed that non-Muslim lawyers should not be advising Muslims on Sharia Law, and should not be endorsing discriminatory behaviour towards women and non-Muslims, even though it is, of course, legal for Britons to write their wills based on Sharia Law if they so wish.

Sadikur Rahman described how in the UK, some young Muslims are reacting to the apparent liberalism of their parents and are becoming indoctrinated by Wahhabism. This is an extremist pseudo-Sunni movement emanating from Saudi Arabia. Until recently in Birmingham the takeover of some schools by hardline fundamentalists was apparently ignored because the schools were perceived not to advocate violent extremism. However, those schools did ignore “British values” by segregating boys and girls, limiting girls’ education to domestic activities, presenting an unbalanced view of religions and excluding music and sex education. Soft extremism like this, Sadikur Rahman argued, does need to be challenged by us all. He said the Qur’an provides little basis for extreme behaviour. There is a great need for a new, open debate, without fear, within the Islamic communities about the significance and interpretation of Islamic texts.”

For more on the Law Society’s discriminatory will guidance which the Law Society has now withdrawn and apologised for. See Independent 24/11/14.

For more information about the Lawyers Secular Society see https://lawyerssecularsociety.wordpress.com/


One thought on “Why is secularism important in the UK today?

Leave a Reply