The following a speech prepared for the International Women’s Day panel on a
establishment of an Islamic Court in
Institute of Civil Justice’ or what has become known as the
This is not the case.
Deceptively sugar-coating an Islamic Court in civil rights terms cannot and will not conceal the stark realities of Sharia law and its regressive implications for human beings and Canadian society.
* To begin with, Sharia law is inherently unjust and unfair even if it’s only being implemented in the area of what some call mundane civil disputes.
discriminatory family and personal status codes are important pillars in the
oppression of women in Islamist societies. Much of the struggle for women’s
rights has taken shape in countries like
Yes we know. Those
who avail of the court will ‘choose’ to do so; it will be completely
voluntary. It is interesting how pro-women’s choices the political Islamic
movement becomes when it is vying for power in the west. Where are the choices
for women in
The very sham
concept of its voluntary nature becomes clearer when you hear
Mumtaz Ali who spearheaded the initiative say:
‘Once the parties have agreed …they will be committed to it by their prior
consent. As a consequence, on religious grounds, a Muslim who would choose to
opt out at this stage, for reasons of convenience would be guilty of a far
greater crime than a mere breach of contract--and this could be tantamount to
blasphemy-apostasy.’ The penalty of which by the way is execution under
Islamic law in places like
* Some say that the Islamic Court will promote ‘minority rights’ and ensure the fair and equitable treatment of ‘minorities’.
In fact, it is just the opposite.
It is discriminatory
and unfair to have different and separate systems, standards and norms for
‘different’ people. The concept of an Islamic Court adheres to a principle of
separate but equal similar to that promoted by the former Apartheid regime of
* And that is exactly the problem with the racist concepts of multi-culturalism and cultural relativism. It promotes tolerance and respect for so-called minority opinions and beliefs, rather than and often times instead of respect for human beings.
Human beings are worthy of the highest respect but not all opinions and beliefs are worthy of respect and tolerance. There are some who believe in fascism, white supremacy, the inferiority of women. Must those beliefs be respected?
There is a big difference between the two.
Multi-culturalism always gives precedence to cultural and religious norms, however reactionary, over the human being and her rights. And it always sees communities as having one homogeneous belief and opinion – often times taking the most reactionary segment of that community – the imams and elders’ beliefs - as the belief and culture of the whole.
Multi-culturalism’s promotion of respect for beliefs and opinions is so strong that even when rights are violated, women mutilated and killed, girls victimised, respect for those beliefs and norms take precedence over individual and universal rights.
There is a real contradiction between cultural relativism and multi-culturalism on the one hand and individual rights on the other.
The Canadian state
is duty-bound to defend the rights of all human beings living in
Even if it is the individual’s belief. Just as it intervenes when a woman refuses to press charges against an abusive spouse. Just as it intervenes when parents abuse their children.
Everyday, the state intervenes to protect people. Not necessarily because it likes to but because civil society and established norms force it to. It must do so here as well.
* And there are
some who say opposing the
It is not.
Opposition to or critiques of or even 'phobias' of ideologies, religions, cultures, laws or political movements are not racism. Islamophobia is not racism. Only phobias against people because of their race are racism. It is only under the New World Order's multi-culturalism that Islamophobia has been increasingly and deceptively given legitimacy as a form of racism.
The political Islamic movement labels it such only to silence those who critique it or stand up to it.
In fact it is
racist to create a
Enough is enough!
It has no right to speak of civil rights and justice. It is itself a pillar of injustice and rightless-ness in the world today.
We will not allow it.
Enough is enough!
Namazie is a spokesperson for the International
Federation of Iranian Refugees, representative of the Organisation of Women’s
Liberation and Director of the Worker-communist Party of