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Charter Rights are a Sop

Reader comment on item: Enforce Islamic Law in Canada?

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Sep 29, 2005 at 15:40

If Sharia law had been given the go-ahead in Ontario, to suggest that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms would somehow offer protection for newly-arrived, Muslim immigrant women is laughable. That line of reasoning is simply a sop thrown out to placate those who oppose the implementation of Sharia law in any of Canada's provinces.

There was recently (btw) a Supreme Court decision regarding pre-nuptial agreements -- the courts upheld a division of property that (on the face of it) appeared patently unfair (75 to the husband, 25 to the woman.) Both parites signed a pre-nuptual agreement (both were lawyers); the husband insisted that his wife-to-be agree to the pre-nupt providing her only with 25 percent of the assets in the event of a divorce prior to the marriage she signed the pre-nupt. YET the legislation in British Columbia with respect to divorce and the division of property mandates a 50 - 50 split. Again, according to a Supreme Court ruling the 50-50 split can be over-ruled in the event of a pre-nupt. And, the lawyer who wished to implement Sharia law in Ontario -- what was his other interest?? Getting couples to sign onto pre-nupts...

And Ali has also seen no problems with stoning women!! So how does harbouring such a belief comport with Canada's Charter?? What about "upholding the dignity" of a person ?? What of prohibition with respect to "creul and unusual punishment?" I would suggest that if a person is incapble of understanding a major precept, they will not be capable of understanding a finer one. Thus, a person who sees nothing morally wrong with armed robbery can hardly be expected to argue (comprehend) the finer points of property law.

Finally, if all parties are blind -- if the Arbitration Board convenes behind closed doors -- zero transparency -- no written records -- how is one to know that a decision has been rendered fairly? Conversely, how can a newly arrived immigrant women -- blind of her legitmate rights -- even know that she has rights under the Canadian Constitution? let alone attempt to go to the Supreme Court to protest in the event of some ghastly miscarriage of justice...

The whole thing stinks, and I'm glad of the Ontario government's decision...(although unfortunate that other religions are made to suffer.)
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