Mainstream media didn’t fully report on what some Muslims wanted
“There will be no Sharia law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians.” So declared Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on Sept. 12, 2005. Those three sentences brought the campaign to introduce Islamic Sharia law to the province to a crashing halt.
Only one reporter detected the statement’s unintended irony. The Western Standard magazine recently rose from the ashes of the controversial Alberta Report, founded by Ted Byfield. Now published by Ezra Levant, the Standard continues the Report’s tradition of publishing “politically incorrect” stories that other periodicals won’t touch.
Gayl Veinotte’s piece in the Oct. 31, 2005 issue of the Standard, entitled, “A legal jihad,” began bluntly: “Islamic groups say they don’t want Sharia law to apply only to Muslims. They want everyone to obey the Qur’an.”
“One law,” indeed.
How had Veinotte come to such a shocking conclusion? By going undercover in a burka and listening to some Scarborough imam’s inflammatory sermon? Nothing quite so daring. She looked beyond the pro-Sharia press releases and simply visited the website of one group involved in the campaign, www.muslim-canada.org.
The Canadian Society of Muslims, reports Veinotte, has a long-established plan to get “some form of official recognition and implementation of Muslim personal family law;” specifically, “a judicial tribunal that will, in effect, operate as a private Islamic court of justice.”
That, claims Veinotte, “is a far cry from religious equality with Jews and Catholics that has, for more than a decade, been settling disputes under Ontario’s Arbitration Act. It is a push to have Sharia law made part of the Ontario legal canon – a means to establish jurisdiction of Qur’anic law in Canada.”
Examining what she calls “the Canadian Society of Muslims’ frank discussion papers” online, Veinotte noticed arresting statements made by the organization’s president, Syed Mumtaz Ali, in a document called, “The Salman Rushdie Issue: A Synthesis of the Islamic Law of Blasphemy/Apostasy in the Context of Canadian Multiculturalism.” (See: http://muslim-canada.org/apostasy.htm)
“When dealing with situations which involve Islamic blasphemy,” Ali writes, “the Canadian courts … must determine … the reasonableness of the limits on the freedom of speech and the issue of demonstrable justification in accordance with the sensibilities of the whole Muslim community.” Ali is talking about more than just an increased regard for Muslims’ supposedly extra-tender sensibilities. Under Sharia law, Ali explains, blasphemy is synonymous with apostasy.
When one studies this document, as The Interim did, it is noticeable that Ali quotes approvingly from a book called The Muslim Conduct of State, by one Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, which discusses “the law of apostasy in the international context.”
“The apostate has to choose between Islam and the sword; he cannot be given quarter, nor will he be allowed to become a dhimmi, i.e., a resident non-Muslim subject of the Muslim state, on payment of the yearly protection-tax.
“De jure he is dead. So if he does not re-embrace Islam, and escapes to some non-Muslim territory, his property in the Islamic territory will be distributed among his Muslim heirs as if he were dead.”
Ali doesn’t call for the execution of Canadian Muslims who commit blasphemy or apostasy, which is the proscribed punishment for those crimes in Arab nations. However, he doesn’t clarify what other punishment would satisfy the demands of Sharia. Certainly, it might prove difficult to reconcile Hamidullah’s suggested penalty with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (a document that Ali also cites frequently and approvingly). Then again, since private property rights are not enshrined in the Charter, the Canadian Society of Muslims might just have a case.
In “The Salman Rushdie Case,” Ali veers from glib to downright chilling. In one disingenuous analogy, Ali writes: “Ayatullah Khomeni had condemned Salman Rushdie because his book was considered blasphemous; the Pope condemned Madonna for her provocative songs. As head of his respective religious structure, each did what was expected of him by his followers. Any Muslim cleric would have reacted to this book in the same manner as the Ayatollah; any Catholic priest would have found Madonna’s songs distasteful.”
Of course, no Catholic priest ever placed a bounty on Madonna’s head. “Islam makes no distinction between private and public morality,” Ali writes later. “The Islamic concept of PERSONAL FREEDOM (capitals in the original) is the complete opposite of contemporary Western thought. According to Islam, personal freedom is available and permissible only in respect to matters which are NOT REGULATED by the injunctions and prohibitions laid down by the Qur’an and the Sunnah, for these are expressions of the inherent divine wisdom manifested through the divine will.”
Since devout Muslims believe that all aspects of life are regulated by the Qur’an, this suggests that “personal freedom” is “available and permissible” to no one.
“As Canadian Muslims, you have a clear choice,” Ali declares. “Do you want to govern yourself by the personal law of your own religion or do you prefer governance by secular Canadian family law? If you choose the latter, then you cannot claim that you believe in Islam as a religion and a complete code of life actualized by a prophet who you believe to be a mercy to all.” As Ali has explained throughout, such apostasy is not merely a difference of opinion, but a matter of life and death.
Canadians may wish to contemplate the findings of the U.K.’s Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, which monitors the advance of Sharia in England, where “it is already practiced unofficially.”
The institute finds that, “Muslims find it difficult to assume minority status in a majority non-Muslim society. More than other minority communities, they constantly, sometimes subconsciously, strive to redress the balance and assume an expanding and dominant position in their host countries.” This effort is frequently “subsidized by vast amounts of money from Muslim oil-rich states, businessmen and charities.”
No slouches in the art of provocation themselves, the ISIC entitled this report, “Islam and World Domination.”