‘I don’t accept that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,’ she said. ‘It has to have something to do with Islam because these people are shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.A liberal female imam speaks out in truth and because of it, she gets death threats. She is also called “controversial,” a term that now is used of anyone and everyone who speaks the truth and warns about sharia incursions in the West. Apparently it is not “controversial” to tolerate human rights abuses in the name of Islam or to accept sharia courts that return women to their abusive husbands, even, in some cases, under life-threatening circumstances.
‘Britain’s big mistake was to install sharia courts.’
MailOnline, July 26, 2017:
A controversial female Imam, who received death threats after opening a liberal mosque for all Muslims, says the UK’s Sharia courts breed Islamic extremism and called for them to be shut.
Seyran Ates, who preaches at the Berlin mosque for women, men, Sunni, Shiite, straight and gay Muslims, said the secretive Islamic courts in the UK are a mistake – and linked them to recent terror attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline Ms Ates, 54, said hardline Sharia courts support fundamentalists and are alienating moderate Muslims, adding: ‘Britain has a multi-cultural society and London, especially, is a melting pot.
‘But you have made mistakes in the case of Islam. There have been a number of attacks in a very short time. More than any other country, you need to talk about extremism in Islam. You need a more open debate about secularism.
‘I don’t accept that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,’ she said. ‘It has to have something to do with Islam because these people are shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
‘Britain’s big mistake was to install sharia courts. They have to be forbidden. They are fighting against women. You won’t find an objective judge in a sharia court.’
Strict Sharia courts, of which there are around 85 operating in the UK, working mainly from mosques, settle financial and family disputes according to religious principles.
But they treat women as second-class citizens, a damning report in 2015 claimed.
The parallel justice system runs against the law of the land and is condemning British Muslim women to ‘marital captivity’ while failing to protect them from domestic violence, said the independent study written by Dutch academic Machteld Zee.
Calling on them to be banned in the UK, Ates added: ‘Women there will never have the same rights as men.’
The Imam, a single lesbian, is in London to find a venue where men and women of all Muslim sects and sexuality and can pray side by side.
‘I am proud to be a Muslim, a lesbian, a lawyer and an author,’ she said.
Ates is in the UK with a team of bodyguards, needed because she has received death threats from around the world over her liberal approach to Islam.
Her courage was yesterday applauded by three members of the House of Lords, who are all backing her initiative.
Lord Patel, a Labour peer in Bradford, which has a sizeable Muslim community, said: ‘I stand behind Seyran Ates’ push for inclusivity and the freedom of choice in worship.’
Lord Carlile, QC, who was the first member of parliament to campaign for the rights of transsexuals, added: ‘I support her efforts, and applaud her courageous initiatives.’
While the human rights barrister and crossbencher Baron Pannick, said: ‘Seyran Ates certainly has my support, and should have the support of all who believe in freedom of religion. It is sad that those who take advantage of freedom of religion for themselves are so reluctant to grant it to others.’
The daughter of Turkish immigrants, Ates has lived in Germany since the age of six. A family lawyer, she has dedicated her adult life to human rights, risking her life for the cause.
When she was just 21 years old, and working for an advice centre for Turkish women, she narrowly survived a shooting – she almost died of her wounds.
Since then, she has faced a series of death threats, being forced to close her legal office in 2006 while she was fighting arranged marriage.
‘The husband of a client tried to kick me and beat me,’ she explained. ‘I got so many death threats that I decided to close my office and give up my licence as a lawyer.
But Ms Ates did not retire. She just transferred her skills to writing, publishing three years later, her controversial book, Islam Needs a Sexual Revolution. This time the threats led her to retire from the public eye.
However, in June this year, she came out of retirement to open the ‘liberal’ Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, which is named after the medieval Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd and German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe and housed inside a Protestant church in Berlin.
Inside a congregation of about 30 Sunni, Shia, Alevi, Sufi Muslim men and women and members of the LGBTQ community pray together side by side in the face of adversity. They estimate they have 100 supporters, who attend either Friday prayers or Sunday brunch.
Not only has the institution been issued with a fatwa from Egypt but it has been attacked by religious authorities in Turkey who have suggested the movement is connected to US cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom they blame for last year’s attempted coup.
However, Ms Ates has refused to be deterred, despite being under 24-hour armed protection since receiving a death-threat days after the mosque opened.
She has now launched a European citizens’ petition to persuade the EU to ‘draft a bill to prevent and reduce the negative consequences of extremism’. She needs a million signatures from seven member states for the initiative to be debated…..