A shariah court has been established in Antwerp, Belgium to handle marriage disputes and inheritance issues if requested by the parties involved in lieu of a civil court hearing.
HLN news listed the following as the responsibilities of the Center for Islamic Services in Borgerhout:
"It handles all cases of divorces, annulling marriages, reconciliations or matrimonial disputes in accordance with the Shariah of Allah, and can deliver a certificate where necessary."
Monica De Coninck, Alderman for Diversity in Antwerp, has said that in itself it's a good thing that religious groups mediate their communities. The court cannot pass sentences, it merely acts as a "moderator" in the types of cases mentioned above (think "Judge Judy" in the United States, in which small claims court is replaced with binding arbitration).
De Coninck did concede, however, that it would have been better if this particular Shariah court weren't championed by radical fundamentalists-- in this case, with a history of calling for the Islamization of Europe and support for the proclamation of Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Awlaki.
In the past, Sharia 4 Belgium has promoted online Jihad videos and invited Belgians to convert to Islam lest they wait for the Islamic conquest and become forced to live out their lives as dhimmis (distantly second-class citizens).
Despite that ideological background, the group claim to be non-violent.
Belgian right-wing politician Vlaams Belang does not accept that this Shariah court is merely a benign mediator, and said recently that (translated from HLN):
"This court is a new step in the Islamization of Antwerp... you certainly can't have a parallel system of Sharia courts developing besides the official judicial bodies, which judges based on principles which clash with the values of our democratic constitutional state."
(h/t Creeping Sharia)