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Homa Arjomand presents her views about Sharia Court in Public meeting held on June 26, 2004

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Homa Arjomand presents her views about Sharia Court at a Public meeting held on June 26, 2004

Once more I’d like to emphasis about the presents of two forces operating within the Canadian so called Muslim community. One tries to implement Shari’a law with its repressive measures against women, while the other relies on modernism and secularism to resist such attempts.

The question I am asked times and times by the media is:

Since it was possible for Shari’a to be used from 1991 when the Ontario arbitration Act was enacted, why do we care now?

The reality is that in 1991, the political Islam did not show its flag, there was no overt political massage because there was no apparent legal validation. The public was not aware of its hidden massage. But on October, 23rd 2003, the flag of political Islam was raised.

We as activists of Women’s rights in Middle East, have experienced the oppression of political Islam and knew the danger if it gained legal credibility in Canada. We immediately called for an urgent international campaign. We believed that an attack on women’s rights in Canada would soon be followed by an attack on women’s rights globally as the move of political Islam is global.

Historically political Islam has proven to be a major force that imposed serious setbacks on women’s lives. Political Islam is a political movement that came into force against secular and progressive movements for liberation, against cultural and intellectual advances. In 1970s the political Islamic movement grew stronger and became more widespread. In 1980s political Islam was supported and nurtured by Western governments to be used in the conflicts and tensions of the cold war.

The key features of political Islam include opposition to the freedom of women, to women’s civil liberties and to freedom of expression. The enforcement of brutal laws and untouchable traditions made women’s homes into prisons. Women were excluded from many fields of work and from education and their brutal treatment became the norm. Under political Islam women are second-class citizen who are denied their full legal rights.

We strongly believe that only the secular movement which is already present in the Western society can effectively counter political Islam.

We must recognize the initial move of political Islam in Canada. We must repeal it’s move. We must repeal the Ontario arbitration Act 1991. Only then we will be able to prevent Shari’a arbitration in Canada.

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