The province of Ontario, Canada is contemplating the implementation of legal settlement of civil conflicts between consenting Moslems via Sharia: Islamic law.
When this first became a topic of discussion, I thought very little of it one way or the other, since this form of a civil dispute mechanism isn’t really much else than two willing parties agreeing to go before binding arbitration. It’s done every day.
It’s even done between Jews and their Rabbi, or Christians and their Priests or Ministers. So what’s the big deal?
But; upon sober second thought, the Liberal Party of Ontario, which is going to decide whether or not to accept Sharia as a viable addition to what is a mainstream secular society based upon the rule of civil and criminal law, would be a disaster for many reasons.
Islam favors the male gender. Therefore; in an egalitarian society such as Canada’s, where men and women are treated equally under secular law, Sharia would be a violation of our Charter of Rights. Specifically against women.
Sharia is faith based. But, in a secular, modern and democratic society, there must be no room WHATSOEVER for the rule of law based upon any religious faith.
One of the greatest strengths of Western style democracies is its separation of church and state. The greater the separation the better.
Approving Sharia as an acceptable alternative to civil litigation is a gigantic step in the wrong direction.
What will the government of Ontario do and say when: not if – but when a Moslem woman is “forced” through intimidation to subject herself to the will of a Moslem cleric who will rule against her because of her gender; and the ruling is incontestable as is the case with arbitration?
Oops won’t cut it.
Women’s rights worldwide have been won with so much blood, sweat, tears and death, not to see it all thrown away in the name of a religion that treats women as second class citizens. Or to make a schmuck like Dalton McGuinty look good.
Only a Duffus like Ontario’s Liberal Premier (Dalton McGuinty) would want to be so politically correct, as to consider such a bad idea in his quest to appear culturally sensitive, as to roll the clock back on separation of church and state, and a woman’s right to be treated as an unequivocal equal.
What we in Canada should be doing instead of establishing creative ways to bring this putrid form of religious discrimination and archaic law to our country, is to be finding ways to poke a stick in the misogynist spokes of fundamentalist Islam in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan . . . etcetera.
I’ve got two great ideas for the Province of Ontario. No Sharia. No McGuinty.