When will they ever learn?
It's a frightening situation, and one I certainly wasn't aware of, and presumably most people were not, either, given that the paper has seen fit to publish the fact as a news story.
It says the British government has "quietly sanctioned" the powers of these "courts" so that "sharia judges [can] rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence".
Rulings issued by any of the five sharia courts are enforceable "with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court".
Now you might argue that there's nothing to worry about, since they're just arbitration assemblies, and sharia "courts" are able to set themselves up as such under the Arbitration Act of 1996, which Muslims have taken advantage of.
But what happens when one of these kangaroo "courts" decides to "try" a case involving homosexuals or women?
There are rumblings of disquiet in the UK about it, and rightly so. Read more at my regular blog.