Remarks courtesy our new Jihad Watch volunteer Patrick Devenny:
On Sunday, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty put an end to the long-running debate over whether Ontario would become the first Canadian province to recognize shariah as a legitimate system of law by declaring “There will be no Shariah law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians.” According to some in the Canadian Muslim community, however, critics of sharia law are simply ignorant, as quoted in the Toronto Star, with thanks to Designnut:
The raging debate over legalizing Muslim principles in arbitration in Ontario has been fuelled by ignorant stereotypes of Islam as oppressive for women, Muslim women said today.
They called on Premier Dalton McGuinty to rescind his decision to scrap all faith-based arbitration to settle civil and family disputes, and threatened a constitutional challenge if he didn’t allow sharia principles in arbitration law.
“We are deeply concerned at the level of ignorance about sharia that has been passed off for informed public debate,” said Kathy Bullock, an executive-director with the Islamic Society of North America.
“The level of hatred has been frequently astonishing.”
On Sunday, McGuinty changed course by announcing he would end faith-based family-law arbitration that has existed in Ontario since 1991 rather than incorporate the Muslim code known as sharia into the law.
Far from being an ancient medieval law code that is “oppressive and barbaric” and discriminates against women as critics argue, sharia aims to provide justice, respect and fairness for everyone, Bullock said.
“The main understanding of women’s equality in the West right now is the Liberal-feminist version which says that if men and women are not treated in an identical manner, then women are being oppressed,” said Bullock.
“There are other understandings of what women’s equality means and the one that is best expressed from the Qur’anic point of view is `different but equal’.”
Hmmm…different but equal…where have we heard that before? Many Canadian Muslims, however, welcomed the Premier’s courageous decision.
Munir Pervaiz, director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said he failed to understand how Muslims who had agitated for equality before the law could now reject McGuinty’s approach.
“How can you, as a Muslim-Canadian citizen, stand in front of anyone and say I want to have a separate law for myself “” (that) one law for all is not good enough?” said Pervaiz.