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September 8, 2004
Canada To Allow Shari'a?

Fox reports that Canada's obsession with political correctness may wind up endorsing Shari'a law for the nation's Muslim residents:

Two parties in a Canadian civil dispute, like a divorce, can opt to use a religious leader as a mediator, and the mediator's decision is binding. Canadian native tribes, Christians and Jews use this system. ...

But some Canadian Muslim women fear that Muslim law, or Sharia, will be imposed on them in these civil mediations. Critics say Sharia has been used, or abused, to discriminate against women. And some Canadian Muslim women say they will be badgered into accepting decisions from conservative imams acting as mediators.

"They will be oppressed in a sense because they'll be coerced into feeling they need to follow this process of binding arbitration, implementing Sharia. Otherwise they're deemed as blasphemous and labeled by the community and then where else is she to go?" said Iman Zebian, a member of the board of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

Somehow, I doubt that Canada will allow Muslim women to be stoned for adultery or gays and lesbians to be dropped from the highest tower, as Shari'a law demands. However, allowing shadows courts to operate in such a manner undermines the confidence in the most basic raison d'etre of government: the protection of its citizens, and in Western democracies, the equal protection of its citizens. How can Canadians ensure that Muslim, or aboriginal, or any other Canadians aren't being exploited by such lay courts?

Canada's sensitivity to the cultures of its immigrant and religious groups may be praiseworthy in theory, but it will prove disastrous in practice. Canada has already been more defined as a nation of competing ethnicities (Quebec is a great example), and allowing these subgroups to establish their own civil courts further undermines Canadian authority and culture.

Perhaps the issue never rose to their attention as long as only Christians and Jews used the system, as Western legal traditions arose from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Shari'a should provide an eye-opener to the dangers of such arrangements to any nation's Western character, a quality that has delivered democracy and respect for human dignity. That tradition is worth retaining and promoting, and it allows members of all faiths to be treated with equal respect and justice. That should be good enough for Canadians, Americans, Europeans, and the entire world.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 8, 2004 6:17 AM

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» Once The foot is in The Door...... from Cranial Cavity
.......Sharia will become the law of the land. "Suad Almad, her head wrapped in a blue silk scarf, was discussing her beliefs with a group of friends. She said fervently that she thought the lives of all Muslims should be governed by Islamic law, k... [Read More]

Tracked on September 8, 2004 8:47 AM

» Sharia Courts in Canada from Kalblog
It's old news, but Captain Ed is upset about the idea of people having binding arbitration using Sharia law. He says: Somehow, I doubt that Canada will allow Muslim women to be stoned for adultery or gays and lesbians to... [Read More]

Tracked on September 8, 2004 8:08 PM

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