In “Sharia law still not dead” in the Toronto Sun, Christina Blizzard (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair) reports that a bad proposal is nevertheless still alive in Canada:
A curious delay in proclaiming into law changes aimed at shutting down the use of sharia law in this province is cause for alarm for one Muslim spokesperson and an MPP demanding to know why the government is dragging its feet.
Amid a furor over a proposal to allow sharia law to settle civil disputes, more than a year ago Attorney General Michael Bryant issued a press release saying proposed amendments to the Abitration Act would mean there would be “one law for all Ontarians.”
Oddly, although the changes were passed Feb. 14, 2006 and given royal assent shortly thereafter, they have not formally been proclaimed into law.
Bill 27 said, among other things, that third party arbitrators could only serve as advisers in civil cases. Some parts of the bill have been made law, but the key provision outlawing religious arbitration have not. In 2005, pressure was building to allow sharia law, a 1,400-year-old set of Islamic laws covering legal and family issues, be used to settle civil disputes — including family law settlements — in this province. Women’s groups protested that sharia law is often oppressive towards women and they worried in the power imbalance that often occurs when religion is allowed to dictate law, the rights of women and children would be trampled. And moderate Muslims feared the power of the imams they had come to Canada to avoid would follow them even in this country.
“There is one family law for all Ontarians and that is Canadian law,” Bryant said in a press release dated Nov. 15, 2005.
Or at least there should be. Read it all.