Jews, Muslims Request Tribunals

September 14, 2005

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: AP

On September 14, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Jews and Muslims in Ontario pledged Wednesday to fight for faith-based tribunals to settle family disputes after its premier stunned their communities by announcing he would ban all religious arbitration in Canada's largest province. Ontario appeared well on its way to becoming the first Western jurisdiction to allow the use of Sharia, an ancient set of Islamic rules, to settle some Muslim family disputes. The province has allowed Catholic and Jewish tribunals to settle family law matters on a voluntary basis since 1991. The practice got little attention until Muslim leaders demanded the same rights. Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B'nai Brith Canada, said Wednesday that Premier Dalton McGuinty's surprise announcement on Sunday to scrap the tribunals was unfair and B'nai Brith is considering a constitutional challenge if Jews are forbidden from using rabbinical courts to grant divorces and other family matters."