Opposition to Sharia courts goes global

An upcoming international demonstration designed to pressure Queen’s Park [home of the Ontario Legislature] into rejecting shariah courts continued to grow yesterday, even as the premier promised any decision on a faith-based court system will not jeopardize women’s rights.

They [women’s rights] will not be compromised,” Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters at a news conference in Toronto yesterday.

So far, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Paris and Los Angeles are among the confirmed participants in tomorrow’s protests. They will join similar demonstrations in Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo, Montreal and Victoria.

Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant delayed a highly anticipated decision on the future of faith-based arbitration this summer, choosing to wait before making changes to a law that allows any set of principles – including religious ones – to be used to privately settle family disputes.

Critics say Ontario has become the target of an international political movement by extremists to entrench Islamic law in Western democracies.

“This has nothing to do with the faith of Islam. It’s political Islam,” said Homa Arjomand, founder of the International Campaign against Shariah Court in Canada [and central committee member of the Worker Communist Party of Iran]. “Ontario is an easy target because we have multiculturalism.”

National Post, 7 September 2005