Taliban-Style Sharia Almost Became Law in Canada
Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere in the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam...If the Muslim Party commands adequate resources, it will eliminate un-Islamic governments and establish the power of Islamic governments in their stead."
- Abul Ala Maudoodi, Sunni Pakistani, father of modern Political Islam and the Jamaat-e-Islami political party (1903-1979)
Wait, it gets worse before it gets better.
A few years ago (2003), Islamists in Canada boldly attempted to get Ontario (Canada's most heavily populated province) to pass laws allowing provincial laws to be set aside and Sharia law to apply to all Muslims in the province who were charged with offences against the law. They almost succeeded.
Canada takes pride in its many cultures that have found places within its communities, even proclaiming itself officially "multicultural" in an effort to encourage its various cultural groups to make themselves at home in their new country. In some parts of the country, its First Nations (Canada's term for its aboriginal Indians) people had persuaded governments to allow First Nations youth who had been charged under the law to be tried and sentenced in native-operated courts rather than provincial courts.
The thinking behind allowing these native courts to become legal was that First Nations youth would have more respect for First Nations courts and would take their sentencing (that better fit the culture they had grown up with) more seriously, thus lowering the recidivism rate. The program was more successful than many expected. The radical program worked.
Muslims are those who follow Islam, aspire to follow the teachings of their Prophet, Muhammed, and the holy Qur'an, which the Prophet committed to print. Muhammed was the Messenger who brought the Word of God (Arabic: Allah) directly to the people, though the Prophet himself was not considered (did not consider himself) a deity.
Islamists have politicized the religion, wanting to make every state in which Muslims are in a majority into a legal Islamic State. Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mauritania are examples of nations that have officially declared themselves Islamic Republics.
The biggest problem with Islamic States, as pointed out by Tarek Fatah in his book Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, is that no Islamic State in history has ever succeeded in terms of being peaceful and embracing respect and human rights for its people. The concept of an Islamic State did not begin with Muhammed (in fact he discouraged it, never set up any mechanism for it, didn't want his family members to be part of one), but immediately after his death when rulers known as Caliphs became, effectively, dictators.
Islamists point to what they call the Golden Age of the Islamic State, which supposedly comprised the years of the first four Caliphs (known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs) after the death of the Prophet in 632 CE. Islamists do not mention this, but it is a fact that Islam in those days was a tribal religion (with all the primitive brutality that entails). The first Caliph died of natural causes two years after becoming the ruler and religious leader of Muslims. However, the next three were all murdered by other tribal leaders who wanted supreme power. This is the period that Islamists point to as the ideal period to follow for Islamic States. Muslims killing Muslims, or enslaving them, was a way of life.
This was what Canadian Islamists wanted to launch in Ontario in 2003. Canadian governments, not wanting to offend Muslims, considered adopting Sharia for their Muslim citizens, as they had cut slack for their First Nations people. Islamists gained greater purchase in Ontario when Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed former attorney-general Marion Boyd to study the issue and make recommendations to the Legislature. Boyd shocked many (not the Islamists, who were ecstatic) when she recommended that "Muslim principles" be allowed to hold sway for Ontario Muslims in place of the Family Law Act. She didn't use the word Sharia.
After consultation with many Muslim leaders and groups, Premier McGuinty's Liberal government dropped the whole idea. Here are some examples of what Ontario missed out on by avoiding adopting Sharia law:
(1) The Head of an Islamic State cannot be punished under Islam's Hudhood (Islamic criminal and family) laws that govern acts of murder, rape, and thievery. [Law #914 C in volume three of the Codified Islamic Law] How long would it have taken for a criminal Muslim leader to claim immunity from prosecution because of his religious beliefs?
(2) If the husband's body is covered with pus and blood, and if the wife licks and drinks it, her obligations to her husband will still not be fulfilled (as a female must be totally committed to her husband by Islamic law). [from Imam Ghazali's classic Ihya ulum al-din] I had trouble even writing that for others to read.
These are but two components of Sharia law. Can an ordinary human like Imam Ghazali create Sharia law? Alas, every part of Sharia law was written by ordinary humans who made no claim that they received guidance directly from Allah.
In fact, there are five different versions of Sharia codified laws, written by five different imams [Imam Abu-Hanifa (699-767), Imam Jaffer Sadiq (702-765), Imam Shafi'i (767-820), Imam Malik (712-795), Imam Hanbal (778-855)]. As you can see, Imam Ghazali is not one of them. His laws were added later, as were the laws created by other imams of their respective times.
The compilations of the sayings of Prophet Muhammed, which are considered by Muslims to be as important as the Qur'an itself, were complied over 200 years after the death of the Prophet. Who could be certain of the accuracy of word of mouth after 200 years?
Imams, over the years, perverted the words of the Qur'an to encompass polygamy, wife-beating, men's right to have concubines, and slavery, via Sharia. Many of those slaves were Muslims, often black-skinned ones from Africa, as slavery existed in the Islamic heartland long before Europeans adopted the practice. The Qur'an explicitly forbids slavery and strongly advocates equality of all Muslims. However, imams wrote Sharia law. The Qur'an forbids suicide and murder as well, but Sharia finds a way around these as well.
What about Muslims who disagree with Sharia, who oppose or who ignore the imams who hold the power of Sharia? Anyone who even disagrees with such an imam could be declared an apostate, banished (a few lucky ones) or killed (most, as Islam has traditionally detested those who "lost their faith"). Using officially sanctioned Sharia law, imams and ayatollahs literally hold the power of life and death over their subjects, with the official legal system of the state holding less important status.
Let's not forget those women who were raped or who committed adultery. Adulterers were often stoned to death (a penalty exacted even today in some cases in Pakistan and Iran, even when the accusations cannot be proven). Under Sharia law, a woman who is raped must provide five eye witnesses who will testify in court against the accused or the case will never go to trial. How many instances of rape do you think have five eye witnesses?
Most people reading this will have enough knowledge of examples of inequality of women in Islamic States that I need not go into detail. It's the same for girls. Recall that when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan it eliminated all education for girls and forced all woman to wear burkas. The theory behind burkas is that women should not show any parts of their body that men could find titillating. Science has proven that the more of a woman's body that is hidden, the more titillating men find them. That evidence means nothing to Islamists. Let's not get started on the subject of female circumcision for girls in some Islamic states.
These are the kinds of situations that come with Sharia. Not all at once. But remember, even in a democratic country like Canada, Islamists have great experience and expertise in propaganda, in dirty-trick debating and in destroying the reputations of enemies, enough to put advertising executives to shame.
This is what Ontario avoided. Islamists still live and work in Ontario, in Canada, indeed in every democratic country in the world. Though no Islamic state in history has ever been successful, Islamists continue to fight for Islamic states around the world. Moreover, the kind of states they want are like those of the Middle East in the 7th and 8th centuries. Like where the leaders were assassinated and enemies were slaughtered or beheaded. That's the Golden Age of Islam the Islamists want.
Let's take particular note that millions of good Muslims around the world must try to live in the same countries where their perverted and mentally unbalanced (often brainwashed) Islamist neighbours make life miserable for decent Muslims. And let's remember that Christianity and other religions have histories no less tragic or violent than Islam.
If the 21st Century is to be better than previous centuries in humanist terms, we must be prepared to keep governance out of the hands of extremists, be they religious extremists or political extremists. We have seen what has happened in the past when leaders who base their popularity on fear in their followers have been allowed to take over. Inevitably, in the past, many have suffered and many have died.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to know what their children need to learn beyond what is taught in school (and in most homes).
Learn more at http://billallin.com