An informal arbitration system that had been settling marital and business disputes in Ontario according to Sharia law has become a formal structure that can issue legally binding decisions. TheStar.com - New Islamic Institute set up for civil cases
This means a Canadian woman can be judged by Islamic Law if the infidel Canadian statutes don't deliver the kind of "justice" that Allah so often wills. That's good news for polygamists and wife beaters -- bad news for subjugated women who might otherwise have a hope of living lives independent of male "guardians" whose perverse sense of honor sometimes compels them to punish their daughters for provoking rapists and stone wives who get pregnant without permission.
This new dual track system supposedly reflects Canada's superior ability to tolerate the intolerable. According to Syed Mumtaz Ali, who is leading the organization of Canada's new Islamic Institute of Civil Justice,
"It offers not only a variety of choices, but shows the real spirit of our multicultural society."
"The Spirit of Multicultural Society" is presumably the title of a yet to be written book cataloging the proper responses of liberal, western-educated, European-Americans, to medieval, misogynist, theocratic cultures based on the individual's submission to the wishes of a group intrinsically intolerant of liberal, western concepts such as universal equality and the validity of multiple cultures.
In practical fact, there won't be any stonings in Montreal any time soon. First of all, the arbitration is voluntary and few women are likely to elect being stoned to death. Also, the decisions of the Islamic Institute can be overulled by the court if they are far out of line with established Canadian law.
But now that there are two legitimate sources of legal authority in Canada, what Muslim woman will refuse to participate in Sharia? What Muslim would dare to challenge the Sharia decision in a secular court?
What about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity . . . would she lose their children? Perhaps, especially if both parties in the marriage agreed to Sharia as a pre-nuptial agreement.
And what if both parties "voluntarily" agree to some barbaric Islamic remedy for, say, homosexual relations . . . will the Canadian court intervene to preserve Canadian rights and values?
More here and here.