Greece strikes limitations on Sharia law

ATHENS: Changing a more than 90 years ago legacy, the Greek parliament on Tuesday has imposed limits on the practice of Islamic sharia law in family disputes.

Greece’s leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras immediately described the new law (paywall), a “historic step” as it “extended equality before the law to all Greeks”.

The Guardian reports that the new legislation allows Greek Muslims litigants to take civil cases to Greek courts rather than jurists known as muftis in cases of divorce, child custody and inheritance matters.

Greece is currently home to roughly 110,000-strong Muslim minority who lives mostly in the northeastern region of Thrace, bordering Turkey.

The changes adopted on Tuesday follow an appeal brought to the European Court of Human Rights by a 67-year-old Muslim widow Hatijah Molla Salli over an inheritance dispute with her late husband’s sisters.

“The government is only acting to prevent condemnation by the court, which, as everyone knows, is inevitable,” Salli’s lawyer Yannis Ktistakis told AFP in November.

“As a European Union nation, this does not bestow honour upon us,” Tsipras said at that time.