According to an article of the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia”, under the scope of reforms in the Greek Family Law, the Shariah will be abolished for Greek Muslims.
This Muslim law establishes among others the right of polygamy and gives only to men the right to divorce their wives which constitutes a problem for the women in Thraki, Northern Greece. Even in Turkey, this law was abolished in 1926.
In addition, this law does not comply with the Greek constitution which establishes the equality of Greeks regarding the application of the laws and the equality of men and women. The National Committee on the Human Rights considers that the Shariah does not protect minorities but abuses the rights and values of all the Greek Muslims.
It is also announced that the family and hereditary relations of all Greek citizens will be regulated by Greek Laws. Thus, the Mufti will only be religious leader of Greek Muslims and will no longer have judicial authorities.
H/T to the Volokh Conspiracy who sought comment on the news from a professor familiar with the Greek practice. It’s brief and worth a click to read it all, but here are two excerpts:
(Note that the old Greek regime didn’t just enforce religious arbitration agreements entered by the parties. Rather, it specifically routed Muslim family law questions to Sharia courts, regardless of whether the parties had agreed to this.) Here’s Prof. Wilson’s comment:
On August 21st, Greek Newspapers reported that new Family Law reforms jettison the practice of allowing Sharía Law to govern family matters for a Muslim enclave of over 110,000 living in Western Thrace. This is a good thing…because women in systems of religious deference frequently get a raw deal.
While some U.S. academics are a lot less concerned about the risks to women and children than I am, I believe states should weigh carefully the risks to vulnerable groups before ceding jurisdiction over family matters to bodies that may be unwilling or unable to vindicate their rights. The movement to introduce religious fundamentalism into the family can have dire consequences for women and children who are deserving of the State’s protection, as Greece recognized this week.
Meanwhile, over at New York Law School, “scholars” and sharia advocates spent the last two days selling the prospects of Islamic sharia law in the U.S.