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UK Law Lords hear deportation appeal of woman fleeing Sharia law

[JURIST] A divorced Lebanese woman told the UK Law Lords [Parliament backgrounder] Monday that her human rights would be violated [Liberty press release] if she were deported to Lebanon, arguing that Lebanese Sharia law [CFR backgrounder] would put her and her son back under the control of her abusive ex-husband. Under Sharia law, a divorced mother loses custody of her children when they turn seven, at which point custody must be given to the father. The case could decide the extent to which the UK will grant asylum claims to people fleeing the implementation of Sharia law. The woman sought asylum in 2004 using fraudulent papers and her claim was rejected in 2005. AP has more.

In February, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official website] rejected a suggestion by the nation's highest Christian cleric that UK Muslims be given an option to resolve some civil disputes under Sharia law rather than UK law. Speaking [interview transcript] to the BBC, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams [official profile] appeared to agree that limited application of Sharia law might help to ease social tension between Muslims and other UK residents, but a Brown spokesperson said that the same laws must apply to every citizen.

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