More on the struggle being waged by Muslim women against Islamic law in Canada. From the Toronto Star, with thanks to Mentat and Nicolei:
When Britain’s Muslim community requested the right to use Islamic law to settle family disputes, the government’s refusal was unequivocal.
No, the petitioners were told: This is one nation, with one justice system for all.
Until last fall, no Western jurisdiction allowed the 1,400-year-old body of religious law called sharia to take root inside its secular legal system.
Then the province of Ontario quietly approved its use. Under the 1991 Arbitration Act, sharia-based marriage, divorce and family tribunals run by the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice are expected to begin later this year. The move has so horrified many Muslim women that they’re vowing to stop the tribunals before they start.
“We’ve had a flood of e-mails from people, asking `How can we help?'” says Alia Hogben, president of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, whose 900 members come from a variety of Islamic sects.
They were outraged that Muslim women could be coerced into taking part in sharia tribunals or face family and community ostracism — or worse.
Why, they asked, should these women be treated differently from other Canadian women?