Defeat of political Islam is cause for celebration, not disappointment
12 mai 2005
The Ontario government’s decision to reject the introduction of Islamic arbitration courts in its jurisdiction is an important victory against the spread of political Islam in Canada and a severe blow to those who preach it.
This victory could not have been celebrated without the tireless activism of Canadian Muslims such as Homa Arjomand, a woman who fled her native sharia-ruled Iran and knows first-hand the inequities of Islamic law. Though even opponents to sharia-based courts in Ontario knew their implementation would by no means translate into the Saudi or Nigerian brutal repression of women, as individuals intimately acquainted with political Islam, they understood the Islamic courts project amounted to an Islamist assault on Canada’s legal system.
This understanding was not only based on personal experience but on facts. The project was initiated by the World Islamic League – a Saudi-based organization dedicated to the spread of wahhabism – as Morocco-born Quebec MNA Fatima Houda-Pépin told the National Assembly in May 2005. During a meeting of imams in Washington, DC. in 1991, to devise on how to introduce sharia in North America, explained Houda-Pépin, Canada was chosen as the prime target because of its multicultural policies and the constitutional guarantees granted to cultural minorities. The imams thought that if a liberal democracy such as Canada were to introduce sharia into its legal system, it would serve as a formidable beachhead for spreading sharia to other Western democracies.
Despite all the evidence showing the sharia-based courts were never a grass-roots project, but rather a campaign carried by a handful of Islamists such as Syed Mumtaz Ali who openly says his ultimate goal is for Canadian Muslims to be integrally ruled by Islamic law, Canada’s liberal media, in unison with Islamic pressure groups, dismissed opponents to sharia as fear-mongers.
Yet more disturbingly, Canadian Jewish groups as well spoke out in favour of sharia-based courts. On September 8 2004, B’nai Brith Canada announced it had presented a submission in favour of Sharia-based tribunals in Ontario to Ms. Marion Boyd, Ontario’s former attorney-general appointed by the Premier of Ontario to review the introduction of sharia in the province. Today, Canadian dailies report that Joel Richler, chairman of the Ontario wing of the Canadian Jewish Congress, is “very disappointed” by Ontario’s decision to ban religious arbitration, adding that “It’s what we consider to be a knee-jerk reaction against the sharia issue”.
In fact, both B’nai Brith and the Congress appear to be more worried about the fate of Jewish arbitration than political Islam raising its banner in Canada. B’nai Brith, in its support for sharia-based courts, insisted on how “Jewish religious courts have worked well in Canada”, while Joel Richler expressed fears over the future of Jewish arbitration in Ontario.
The short-sightedness of the Canadian Jewish leadership in this matter is deplorable. Never since Nazism has there been as powerful an ideology as political Islam aiming the annihilation of Jews. Yet on this occasion Jewish leaders appear to be standing with the Islamists. By favouring sharia-based courts and expressing disappointment over Ontario’s decision to scrap the Islamists’ project, the Jewish leadership sends mainstream Muslims the absurd and unacceptable message that it shares less common ground with them than with the country’s Islamist organizations. Should the loss of Jewish arbitration courts be the cost for the defeat of political Islam in Canada, it would be a small price to pay for defeating Islamism. These courts are used by only a handful of Jews and their disappearance would by no means endanger the vitality of Judaism in this nation.
The defeat of sharia in Ontario is a reason to celebrate for all Canadians and anyone attached to the principles of liberal democracy. If anyone should be disappointed, as they surely are, it is the Islamists, not the Jews.