reports of September 8th demonstration against Sharia court in Canada
RALLY ON SEPT. 8, 2004,
We are gathered here
to demonstrate against
The Ontario Arbitration Act (1991) was originally meant to
ease the backlog in the courts and cut costs by resolving disputes through
arbitration/mediation. At the time, I did
not hear any mention of the introduction of Shari’a Law in
We are all aware of
the abuse and discrimination suffered by women in countries where there is Shari’a
The common complaint
of many muslim men in
contention is that muslim women have a choice of settling disputes either through the
courts or through Shari’a arbitration. Where
is the choice when a woman is told that she is not submitting to the will of God unless
she follows the guidelines, counsel and principles related to muslims through the Quran
and Prophet Muhammad if she does not submit to Shari’a arbitration? No one wants
we are told that in
To ensure male
domination over a woman, not only do the muslim men want Shari’a Law in
When westerners go to
eastern countries they are expected to follow the law of the land. Why is it when we come to this country we should
expect our own laws and regulations? We
came to this country to leave all that abuse behind us and to enjoy the freedom and
I hope every one of
you attending this rally will speak to your MPs and government officials showing your
Report from Ottawa
It was significant that while Canada allowed us to protest and demonstrate freely, our brothers and sisters in countries where the Sharia is the rule of law are not afforded the same liberties.
There were 5 speakers:
Soheila Bayani from the Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada;
Sheila Ayala from the Humanist Association of Canada
(reading the speech for Homa Arjmand, organizer of the campaign)
Maryam Abdula from the Campaign for the Defense of Women's Rights in Iraq
David Aram from the International Federation Refugees of Iran
Elizabeth Caddy, women's rights activist.
Each speaker in turn stressed the danger of allowing Sharia arbitration tribunals: the Sharia law is inherently unjust and unfair; it is discriminatory; women and girls will be coerced and intimidated; Canada will have separate laws for one segment of the population, undermining the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states Canadian citizens are equal before and under the law; it will lead to the ghettolization of Muslim immigrants and finally, Canada must remain secular, leaving individuals free to follow their own conscience, religious or otherwise.
At the end of the demonstration a resolution was read by Soheila Bayani by calling on the government to stop the Sharia from being implemented in Canada.
There are 2 pages to this story.
Yesterday at our protest from 8am to 8pm in Penticton, through out the day we spoke to about 100 to 150 people.
2 women could not believe -when they found out what Sharia was--that Canada would bring this in. They were from the USA.
Some other tourists from Germany- one was a Judge-- Said this would never happen in Germany and he was shocked and astounded that Canada would bring it in.
Toward the evening a woman who works with battered women said she read that Sharia was to come into BC on Sept 17. She couldn't remember where she read the article so I have been contacting politicians to find out. I was furious because Mr.Barisoff's office had said before , "This wont happen in BC. We would not bring it in." So I went to MP DAY's office and made some calls.
Rick Thorpe, an MLA in the Okanagan just called me to state emphatically that, "NO! BC is NOT bringing Sharia into the BC Legal System.
In the article the Attorney General says that Sharia will not come in-- They have no plans for it.
Alas, some Muslim men are still pushing.
If what I found out today is true, a store-front can be set up---as a business-- and if the 2 people agree to the Arbitration they could possibly use Sharia there. And if this happens the government might not be able to stop it.
Mr. Ali said on TV about the abusive administration of Sharia, " It is the fault of the Muslim people, it is not fault of the Law."
As I understand what I was told today--- The Law allows arbitration, the people decide what they are going to do. Kind of sounds the same.
I am trying to get, in writing, a statement from the Attorney General, a positive NO.
I'm glad there was a fairly good turn out in Vancouver---about 40 people it said in the paper.
We had about 100 to 150 people stopped by to get information and most signed the petitions, some wanted to get more information first. I haven't counted the names collected yet.
I have been asked to speak at a meeting in November and possibly to a women's group earlier.