Baroness Cox, a member of Britain’s House of Lords, warned Friday that British recognition of Shariah-guided arbitration panels is leading to discrimination against Muslim women, calling the phenomenon “religiously sanctioned gender discrimination.” Cox, a longtime critic of radical Islam, warned that as a result of the acceptance of Islamic law panels, some Muslim men in the U.K. have been able to practice polygamy. “My Muslim friends tell me that in some communities with high polygamy and divorce rates, men may have up to 20 children each,” she said.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that Cox would like to close a legal loophole which she believes allows Shariah courts to discriminate against women. In her address to the House of Lords, Cox said one Muslim woman told her, “I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this and the situation is worse here than in the country I escaped from.” Under the 1996 Arbitration Act, Muslims in the U.K. are permitted to turn to arbitration panels to resolve disputes according to Shariah law. FULL REPORT