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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sharia in Canada

Canadians continue to amaze me with their bordering-on-stupidity-we-are-so-tolerant attitude, and their proposed creation of Sharia arbitration tribunals is a perfect example of that. Thanks to an official report by former Ontario Attorney General general Marion Boyd, having Sharia tribunals in Canada may become a reality, despite canadian muslim women's vocal opposition of them. Critics say they have organised rallies in major Canadian cities including Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa to protest any such move, as well as in Paris, London and Vienna. In Montreal around 100 people gathered Thursday to protest the tribunals. One of those demonstrating, Elahe Chokrai from the Montreal Association of Iranian Women, said the plan went against the letter of the Canadian constitution. "From A to Z, the contents of these Islamic laws are against the charter of rights," she said. In Ottawa more than 100 others, mostly women, protested in the rain in front of the parliament building. "The marriage of children as young as nine, polygamy, the unjust division of inheritance: all of these are part of Islamic law and we don't accept them as being part of Canadian law," Chokrai said. Opponents of the system fear that Muslim women may be forced to waive their rights under Canadian law that critics argue are not equally protected in Islamic law. And let's be honest here, they wouldn't be. Women would be deprived of certain rights that the Canadian law gives them under Sharia law, and it makes no sense for that to happen in Canada. Ok canadian muslims, if any of you want to live under Sharia laws there are a number of nice countries that I can recommend you migrating to: like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. If you really want this kind of society then go to those countries, they would gladly take you in and you could have exactly what you want. Just leave the western countries alone. Sure, they are filled with secular decedant infidels who give women rights and views them as something more then just walking Vaginas, but we like them that way. Matter of fact, that's exactly why we like them and exactly why they are so nice that you ended up leaving your original countries and went there. So please, be nice and leave them just the way they are. Ok? Please? Ohh, and Marion Boyd, just Shut the Fuck Up!


At 9/12/2005 04:59:00 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

No one in this debate seems to understand the implications of what the province was (it's been called off) considering. If you and I have a dispute, we can have it arbitrated outside the courts under some other legal system. We can agree to use anything from Brazilian law to the Code of Hammurabi, if we want. All the proposal was going to do was to bring sharia-based arbitration under an official framework. The actual decisions wouldn't have the force of law unless you went to court to "homologate" them (thereby making them legally binding). And you can't do that if the decision violates the Charter of Rights. So there was no issue of courts making decisions based on Islamic law. And this was for CIVIL arbitration. Chopping a thief's hands off wasn't even remotely connected to anything under consideration. So now that the decision has been reversed, what exactly has been accomplished? A domineering man can still drag his wife in front of a cleric and force her to abide by that decision. It's not like the government is going to arrest the couple if they go outside the courts (or do you think a man and a woman who ask their priest to settle a dispute over some problem in the marriage should go to jail?).

The province's action wasn't going to change much and might have afforded women some measure of protection by bringing it into an official framework. Sharia-based arbitration isn't going to go away just because it has no recognition in law.

At 9/14/2005 05:33:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Ya, well. If you are a women who has been under the thumb and powerless for years on end, it's not very likely you will stand up for yourself in a divorce situation. It's more likely you will have no recourse but to accept being shafted yet again.

That's what I don't like about the Sharia law thing, or about any religiously based system. They tend to be very conservative, promoting the status quo. If the relationship between the man and the woman is one of equal partners it's highly unlikely that a divorce proceding will be taking place at all. It's only when one of the partners has been the recipient of the shitty end of the stick for a long time that divorce is even contemplated and the status quo in most religious traditions supports an inferior status for women.

That's my fem-nazi rant for the day and I'm sticking to it.


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