No to Sharia Arbitration sign now


In 1991, in response to a backlog of court cases, the Government of Ontario agreed that family-related cases could be arbitrated based on community laws.

This year, the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice has asked that arbitration cases be heard under Sharia (Shariah) law.

The Sharia law, as seen in many African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, has always shown itself to be against women one woman even lost custody of her 3-month old daughter while she was still nursing her. Men usually gain custody of children, if they wish, pay no alimony, and obtain 100\% of family assets. Many Muslim women, councils and associations stand against this form of arbitration as do many fathers who fear for their daughters future welfare. Their concern could be seen this summer during a CBC documentary.

The Islamic Institute has stated that, should the parties prefer, they do not need to go through Sharia arbitration, they can go directly through the legal system. Muslim women have argued that most women will be pressured by their community to use Sharia arbitration.

The Government has said that arbitration decisions, to become legal, must be reviewed by a judge; this, in their view, will ensure fair decisions. What judge would go against a known religious arbitration board or against an agreement signed by both parties (women will be pressured to sign if they do not sign they would be seen as going against their community). It is essentially a Lose/Lose situation for women.

Because of the outrage voiced by Muslim Womens associations this Spring, the government is having the proposal studied and reviewed. A report is expected in early October.

The Sharia law clearly contravenes the Ontario Human Rights Acts as well as the Canadian Human Rights Act and is counter to all our grandmothers fought for in the 1920s when women obtained the right to vote and stand as equals before the laws of Canada.

In signing this petition, we, the people of Ontario, stand with our sisters and brothers of the Muslim faith, and ask the Attorney General of Ontario and the Minister responsible for Womens Issues to prevent this form of arbitration from entering our province.

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Jayne FisherBy:
HealthIn:
Petition target:
The Attorney General of Ontario and the Minister responsible for Women's Issues

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