At last: someone points out that the outcry against Sharia in Canada is not based on the all-purpose smear word “Islamophobia,” because “other people are clearly dissatisfied” — i.e., Muslims themselves. We reported here some time ago about Alia Hogben and her Canadian Muslim women’s group that opposes Sharia there. From the Christian Science Monitor, with thanks to Fanabba:
TORONTO — Their burnished domes rise high above the adjacent pizza parlors and drab strip malls, like beacons of sanctity in this largely secular country.
But the peaceful facades of the dozens of mosques in Canada’s most populous province belie the public rancor that has been stirred up over the use of sharia, or Islamic law, by Ontario’s Muslims.
Given the fact that there is no actual separation between moderate from radical Muslims in the mosques, “peaceful facades” is a well-chosen phrase, albeit unintentionally so.
Muslims here, supported by a 1991 provincial law, have been using sharia to mediate legal disputes, such as divorce and child custody. But in the spring, after a Muslim group proposed creating a formalized tribunal, what had been going on quietly for more than a decade became front-page fodder and led to a government review of the law. A report is expected next month.
While no one here expects the increasing use of sharia to lead to some of the more radical rulings associated with Islamic law – stonings or amputations – critics worry that the rights of women are being sacrificed for the sake of multiculturalism.
“It’s shocking to see the seeds of an Islamic republic being sown here in Canada,” one young woman shouted to vociferous applause at a recent Toronto rally, organized to denounce the practice of sharia in Ontario. “Sharia doesn’t work anywhere else in the world. Why does the government believe it will work here?”…
“We’ve had a flood of e-mails from people asking, ‘How can we help stop what is so dangerous to Muslim women,’ ” explains Alia Hogben, president of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, a national organization whose 900 members come from a variety of Islamic sects. “We believe Canadian women should all live under one law.”…
Pascale Fournier, a legal scholar at McGill University in Montreal, says he believes that the law will be dramatically overhauled, affecting religious communities across the province….”In Quebec the law clearly states that it is impossible to have arbitration in matters of family law because it causes public unrest,” explains Ms. Fournier, who has recently studied the application of sharia around the world. “In Canada we’re hearing [the outcry over sharia is] based on Islamaphobia. But that’s clearly not the case because other people are clearly dissatisfied,” Fournier says.