Position Statement on the Proposed Implementation of Sections of Muslim Law (Shari’a) in Canada

Some Canadian Muslims are proposing the implementation of sections of Sharia [Muslim law] to settle family disputes outside the court system through arbitration committees/tribunals. Due to provisions of the provincial Arbitration Act, the arbitrated agreements may be accepted by law, resulting in a bypass of the court system.

We have discussed the issue of implementing Sharia/Muslim family law with those who are proposing it and we wonder about the motivation. For example, we are concerned with some of the written statements made by Mr Mumtaz Ali, one of the founders of the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice, which stress that not following the option is “tantamount to heresy-apostasy” This sort of coercion belies the voluntary nature of the binding arbitration. Others have dismissed our concerns without  providing any rationale as to why Canadian law should not be followed.