Thanks to the several people who sent this article from The Star.
Had she stayed in Iran, Homa Arjomand would now be dead.
All “” all “” of the women’s activists she worked with in Tehran have been executed, victims of a reactionary regime that ruled, and continues to rule, by strict adherence to Islam’s sharia law.
In 1989, she and her husband paid $15,000 to smugglers to help them and their two young children flee the country.
For three days, they rode on horseback through the mountains, sleeping in barns before finally reaching Turkey.
Two years later, the onetime professor of medical physics arrived in Canada as a refugee. And how grateful she was to be in a secular country, where female equality was the law.
That was then.
Last fall, Arjomand, now a transitional counsellor in Toronto for immigrant women, heard the province had quietly approved the use of Islamic law in Ontario’s Muslim community.
A group she’d never heard of, called the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice, had gained the right to hold tribunals, darul qada, in which marriage, family and business disputes can be settled according to sharia.
The 1,300-year-old body of laws and rules for living was inspired by the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.
Arjomand was horrified.
“The last thing I expected in Canada, the last thing I want, is sharia law,” she says. “Women are not equal under it, therefore it is opposed to Canada’s laws and values. The government can’t let this happen.”