Debate stirs hatred, Canadian Muslims say

Homa ArjomandThe debate around sharia tribunals in Ontario has led to a phobia about Islam and increased the public’s misunderstanding and hatred of Muslims, according to a coalition of Muslim groups.

The recent polemic around faith-based arbitration has perpetuated negative stereotypes of Islam as oppressive to women, Katherine Bullock, with the Islamic Society of North America, told reporters yesterday. “The debate around faith-based arbitration for Muslims has raised the notion that Muslim values are somehow outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, and Jewish and Christian family law are fine but Muslim family law is somehow oppressive to women,” Ms. Bullock said at a news conference in the ISNA mosque in Mississauga. “Taliban-style Islam in Canada has been invoked as a way to suggest Ontario shouldn’t embrace faith-based arbitration.”

Globe and Mail, 15 September 2005