HC Deb 16 March 1978 vol 946 c296W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that the leaders of the 1 million Muslims in Great Britain are demanding changes in the law to enable Muslim men to practise their beliefs and actions on the question of divorce, their inheritance rights and on other matters, whether he will publish in the Official Report his letter to Dr. Syed Pasha General Secretary of the Union of Muslim organisations, on these demands; and whether he will agree to meet representatives of this organisation to discuss these demands.

Mr. John

I have told Dr. Syed Aziz Pasha that I will be happy to meet a deputation from his organisation, and have suggested a preliminary meeting at official level, to discuss specific points they may wish to raise. I have, however, made it clear that the Government could not support the union's proposal for incorporating into the law of England and Wales Muslim law as a whole or for any general statutory recognition of Islam and its traditions. I await his reply.

I shall not, however, publish in the Official Report the correspondence which the Home Secretary and I have had with Dr. Pasha.