July 21, 2004
Report of Meeting with Marion Boyd Regarding
This meeting lasted over three hours and many issues and case studies were presented:
Homa Arjomand emphasized the fact that The Ontario Arbitration Act 1991 has made it possible for the Islamic movement to make another attempt to attack both secularism and the women’s movement for equality. She stated that this move has proven, historically, to be a major force in creating serious setbacks to the lives of women. Arjomand also stated that the key features of this move include opposition to the freedom of women, opposition to women’s civil liberties and opposition to freedom of expression.
Arjomand, by presenting some case studies,
demonstrated that due to social pressure and the strict adherence to role and
obligation imposed on women by Shari’a, battered
women coming from so called Islamic countries remain in abusive relationships
Now, using the Ontario Arbitration Act 1991, which allows family disputes to be resolved by arbitrators who are Imams or elderly scholars of Islam, family matters can be resolved according to Shari’a law. Ms. Arjomand explained the consequences of allowing Shari’a arbitrators to handle family disputes. She listed some of the direct violations of social, political and civil rights that will result from the application of Shari’a law through the Arbitration Act. Once more, she stated that family law must be removed from this Act. The mere suggestion of Islamic cultural or religious tribunals has already generated an atmosphere of fear among Muslim women.
Ms. Arjomand finally
drew attention to the fact that, in
Mrs. Boyd stated that she is willing to meet with 35
other members of this campaign on