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May 28, 2005

Canada to join Islamic Brotherhood... EEshaallaa!

Ontario to make own sharia decision: McGuinty

TORONTO Saturday, May 28, 2005 (Canadian Press) -- The Ontario government will decide on its own if it will allow Islamic law to be used to settle some family disputes despite Quebec's rejection of Muslim tribunals, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday.

McGuinty said Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant will examine Thursday's decision by members of the Quebec legislature, who unanimously rejected the use of Islamic tribunals, or Sharia law, in the province's legal system,

"We will not be unduly influenced by a decision taken by one of our provincial counterparts," McGuinty said. "We'll be making a decision here that's in keeping with the values and aspirations of the people of Ontario."

The Quebec legislature passed a motion against allowing Sharia law in an effort to stop a growing movement among some Muslims to have the religion play a role in family law.

Critics say Sharia law is an archaic Islamic law that doesn't treat men and women equally.

McGuinty said the province would respond "in due course" to the report issued last December by former Ontario attorney general Marion Boyd on using the law in the province.

In that report, Boyd recommended that Ontario Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups in the province to seek arbitration based on religious laws for family disputes and inheritance cases.

Some Muslim groups derided the report's approval of opening the door to using the 1,400-year-old law to settle divorces and custody disputes for Muslims in Ontario.

Boyd's report was also criticized in the Quebec legislature on Thursday by Liberal backbencher Fatima Houda-Pepin.

She said any move to allow Muslim family law would lead to similar demands in criminal and civil legal areas.

Sent by Abbas A

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