Author: Alia Hogben
Source: Kingston Whig-Standard
Far too often our organization, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, gets frantic, sad calls from Muslim women asking about family laws.
They are confused about which family laws apply to them in Canada. They are often told that Muslim family laws are religiously mandated and apply in all countries. They are told that these laws override the secular family laws of Canada — which is not true. And often, the religious-based Muslim family laws and the Canadian secular laws are in conflict.
What is so discouraging is that these calls are not just from new immigrants but from young Muslim women born and brought up in Canada.
It should not surprise us that most of this incorrect, damaging information is found on traditionalist websites. Many are hosted by South Asian so-called religious experts spouting long, convoluted sentences in Arabic, impressive but not understood by many of us from Asia.
What are Muslim “religious” family laws and are these relevant in Canada? Surely these should be simple questions with simple answers, but that is not so.
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