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  • “Somebody who lives in Canada please explain what this means.”

    Oh sure…. it means we could possibly be taking a HUGE step backwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Uy yuy yuy… this is bad news. Yes, there is something like this in place already, but it still has to have final approval from the actual court system.

    Canada has a little problem. We tend to be overly polite, and what ends up happening is we let bad ideas be put into place because we are too polite and don’t wanna piss anybody off by saying no. We fancy ourselves to be liberal and free and let anybody practice whatever religion they like. However, as you can see, this often includes a law system that would be in serious conflict with the system that is in place. I for one hope the Canadian government wakes up, or I’m gonna be making aliyah sooner than later.

  • In a nutshell, the province of Ontario allows civil court matters (divorces, civil disputes, etc.) to be settled in religious courts of arbitration if both of the parties involved agree to it. Orthodox Jews have this right already, and use it (think Beit Din).

    The question of Muslim arbitration courts is contentious because the Muslim community in Canada are mostly recent immigrants and there are real fears that the rights of women will be trampled upon due to some of the inherently discriminatory tenets of Sharia — and because these women, who may not have a good command of English, may be easily intimidated into submitting to a process that will be unfair to them.

    The arbitration courts are not allowed to endorse or permit things prohibited by Canadian law, so no one will be executed for adultery, etc. The real fear here is one of discrimination against women. That is the main reason that a lot of groups (including Muslim groups) are opposed to it.

  • Its funny because I think the first time I came across mobius of Jewschool was as a result of an article in Jewsweek about some incident between pro-Israel and anti Israel students at York University in Ontario. The comments discussed the veracity of the details reported by mobius but then quickly devolved into a scrap between myself and some other commentors relating to the issue of muslim immigrants and sharia tribunals in Canada.

    You can read the comments here and know that this was in part what inspired me to start Jewlicious.

    The article was loooong and the commentary was incendiary at times. My slug fest started as a result of a comment by some guy called homeboy:

    Concordia, an example of the “new” Canada
    homeboy – Vancouver, Canada (03/31/2004 02:00 IT)

    follow along and watch the punches fly!

  • I read it and followed along. Your take on it was that Canada is very friendly to immigrants, and rightfully so, and that criticism of laws that may benefit Muslims, most of whom are immigrants to Canada, should be avoided even if they strengthen this community that has segments with values completely contrary to Canadian values.

    If I understood correctly, you indicated that Jews also benefit from special treatment which the Muslims are requesting and that thanks to Canada’s immigration laws, you and your family as well as many other Jews were able to move and live in Canada which has been so forthcoming to Jews.

    So the upshot of all of this is that you have no difficulty with the issue of provinces allowing sharia law to become the rule of law among “consenting” Muslims?


  • More or less. I am wary of course, and aware of concerns raised by Muslim women’s organizations amongst others, but I also know that as long as these decisions are subject to Judicial review and as long as the scope and authority of these tribunals are limited, then I do not have a prima facie objection. I mean our beit dins in Canada have yet to kill adulterers, onanists or those violating the sabbath.

  • And yet the article I linked has members of moderate Muslim groups opposing this law. Is that not a concern? Why are they concerned? Is it that they believe this opens the door for the type of social pressures that will, in effect, remove choice of participation from many who would rather be protected by the federal or provincial systems?

    In a similar vein, aren’t most of today’s Muslim immigrants to Canada new immigrants? Where are they coming from?

  • Shalom / Salaam – Ma shlom chem?

    Folks – many of you are on the right page.

    Shariah ADR Tribunals deal with the SAME issues as the Bet-Deen.

    MOST people don’t even know that it is ALREADY in operation.

    The Boyd report mentions ONE organization – of Orthodox Muslims – and of which I happen to be the rep. – that is a WORKING MODEL.

    If you get a chance to pull up the report – search my name (Mubin Shaikh) and see what it says.

    We are a proof against those who know too little.

    Shalom / Salaam