Canada

In January last year, the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council incurred the wrath of Iraqi women by ordering that Islamic law, or sharia, replace the civil code that had governed family and divorce law since the 1950s.
Jurisprudence in Canada took a hit in December when former Attorney General Marion Boyd released her long-awaited report on the permissibility of Sharia law under the Arbitration Act of the Province of Ontario.
Amina Wadud, Professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective, was speaking as part of a series sponsored by York University and the Noor Cultural Centre.
The Muslim Canadian Congress has welcomed the legislation presented by Justice Minister Irvin Cotler that re-defines marriage to include same-sex partners, and has urged Muslims and other minority groups to stand in solidarity with gays and lesbians.
Based on its preliminary analysis, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women is deeply concerned about the recommendations contained in Marion Boyd’s report, Dispute Resolution in Family Law: Protecting Choice, Promoting Inclusion.
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) expresses disappointment in Marion Boyd’s report on Ontario’s 1991 Arbitration Act - which the former NDP Government, with Ms. Boyd as a Cabinet minister made law.
The report released in December 2004 recommending the use of sharia law in Islamic family disputes in Ontario should send a shiver down the spines of women across the country.
As the debate in Canada on whether some of the Sharia provisions may be included in the legal code in the Ontario province, one Muslim community figure has declared that anyone who raises such questions is not a “real Muslim.”
A group called the Canadian Society of Muslims is testing boundaries by establishing the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice to apply the legal code called Shariah, based on the Koran, to settle disputes over property, inheritance, marriage and divorce.
Former NDP attorney-general Marion Boyd has been appointed to review procedures that would include the use of Islamic law to settle family disputes, the Ontario government has announced.
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