Study finds no sharia courts in Netherlands

A recent study has found that due to the ethnic and religious diversity of Dutch Muslim groups, the existence of an official legal institute for all Muslims in the Netherlands is not possible, and no Sharia courts currently exist in the country.

The study was conducted by Radbound University Nijmegen for the Ministry of Justice and sent by the ministers of Justice and Integration to Dutch parliament. It notes that while practices of counseling and conflict-arbitration on the basis of Sharia exist in the Netherlands, it does not take the form of settling disputes. Rather, Muslims ask among peers or scholars for advice about issues in which Islamic concepts and life in Dutch society offer choices. The cabinet response admits that the study alleviates concern about the existence of Sharia courts, while restating its position ensuring that there will be no parallel legal orders in the country.

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