"Does Sharia have its place in Europe? If so, under which conditions? These are the questions currently facing the bodies of the Council of Europe.
In 2003, the ECHR had bluntly concluded “that sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy” and with the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is no longer the case today. In a judgment of 19 December 2018, the Court condemned the coercive application of sharia law upon the Muslim community in Greece, but not its application in itself. The Court estimated that norms of the “Islamic holy law” can apply on the margin of the common law, under unfortunately unclear conditions.
During the week of 20 January 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss and vote on a draft Resolution entitled “Compatibility of Sharia law with the European Convention on Human Rights: can States Parties to the Convention be signatories of the “Cairo Declaration”?”. This draft Resolution particularly targets the application of Sharia law in the United Kingdom and Greece, and the fact that three Council of Europe member States (Turkey, Azerbaijan and Albania) are signatories to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (1990). According to this text, Islam is the birth religion of every person, and human rights are subject to Sharia law.
It is in support of the need to strongly oppose any introduction of sharia law in Europe that the ECLJ is organizing a high-level seminar at the Council of Europe on 21 January with the participation of women who have suffered the application of Islamic law and academics.
It is imperative to remain firm in the total rejection of Sharia law.