The government has launched an inquiry into the role of sharia councils in the UK. The councils are able to provide advice to Muslims who voluntarily choose to use them to resolve civil and family disputes. But human rights campaigners have become increasingly concerned about the rights of women who access the councils. The Home Office said it would examine claims that sharia councils may be working in a "discriminatory and unacceptable way", issuing divorces that are unfair to women, contrary to the teachings of Islam. However, it will also seek out examples of best practice among sharia councils. So what is the real picture? How can we separate the facts from the misconceptions?
Ernie Rea explores the role of sharia councils in the UK with Dr Amra Bone, who is on the panel for the Sharia Council based in Birmingham Central Mosque; Dr Samia Bano, an expert in Muslim family law in the UK at SOAS, University of London; and Maryam Namazie, a human rights activist from the campaign group 'One Law for All'.
Producer: Dan Tierney
Series producer: Amanda Hancox.