Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mullah McGuinty

Protestors opposed to the Ontario government's plan to allow Islamic law to be used in family law arbitration compared Premier Dalton McGuinty to the Taliban:

About 300 people gathered outside the Ontario legislature for a protest billed as a global campaign to discourage the province from becoming the first Western jurisdiction to permit the use of religious rules critics consider an affront to human rights.

Speaker after speaker told the crowd Mr. McGuinty was naive to suggest that women's rights would not be trampled if Ontario allowed the controversial sharia principles to be used to settle Muslim divorces, custody fights and inheritance disputes.

"These words are not coming from Ayatollahs (or) from Taliban leaders," Iranian refugee Mahmoud Ahmandi told the crowd.

"It's coming from the leader of Ontario's government; shame on you," he said as the protesters chanted "shame, shame."

The comparison could hardly be less apt. Premier McGuinty's ineptitude and bombast are far more suggestive of Foghorn Leghorn than the Taliban. He probably genuinely believes that Islamic law is fairly benign, if socially conservative, and no different than the Talmud used in Jewish arbitration. That would make him merely another naive multiculturalist.

But it is the naive who pave the way for the ruthless who will use shari'a as a way to intimidate women--and men--from exercising their rights in civil court.

Source: Globe and Mail

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