Canadian Province Bars Use Of Islamic Law

The premier of Ontario, Canada, has announced that Islamic precepts will not be allowed in family law arbitration.

On Sept. 11, Premier Dalton McGuinty told Canadian Press, “There will be no Shariah law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians.”

The Religion News Service reported Sept. 12 that Ontario’s decision follows the neighboring province of Quebec’s decision in May to deny the use of the strict Islamic religious tribunals.

Several years ago, conservative Islamic groups demanded the same rights as Ismaili Muslims and Jews who have operated private family law tribunals since 1987. An Ontario law allows religious groups to settle family disputes with religious law as long as all parties agree.

According to the RNS, women’s groups and progressive Muslims lobbied against the use of Shariah, arguing it would likely stifle the civil rights of women.