Canadian Muslims Able to Use Shari'a Law in Civil Disputes

December 27, 2003

Source: Reuters;jsessionid=RGAPAKW5KEJ52CRBAELCFFA?type=reutersEdge&storyID=4048653&pageNumber=0

On December 27, 2003 Reuters reported, "Some Canadian Muslims will soon be able to use an Islamic tribunal to arbitrate civil disputes, bringing Muslim sharia law to a largely secular society and raising concerns about the extent to which it might be applied. Canada's Islamic Institute of Civil Justice was formed in October and plans to begin arbitrating family and business disputes early next year using Muslim personal law in Ontario. Eventually, operations will be expanded across Canada. Since arbitrators' rulings can be enforced by the courts, the development has raised eyebrows that sharia will in effect be endorsed by Canada's secular courts. While Muslim leaders insist decisions are only binding if all parties agreed to the arbitration, critics say people may be pressured to take part in the process."