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The Islamic Party of Ontario; Seriously? Yes, Seriously!

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The Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa with the National War Memorial in the foreground. (Photo: Andrew Burton / Getty Images)
The Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa with the National War Memorial in the foreground. (Photo: Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

Just when Canadians were having a tough time deciding for whom to vote, lo and behold a clear choice has emerged. The Islamic Party of Ontario is offering itself as the solution to all problems plaguing Canada.

Reading like a sharia manual, the website of The Islamic Party of Ontario is written in a framework that’s difficult to challenge legally. No matter how colorfully this manifesto is wrapped in the cloak of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, make no mistake the premise it is coming from is entirely Islamist in flavor and has no silver lining.

Among other suggestions, the website reads:

  • We understand and believe that Islam is the native DEEN of Ontario and Canada.
  • The relationship established under a marriage contract is a sacred union between a man and a woman. God made Adam and Eve — not Adam and Steve (i.e. they have no tolerance for LGBTQ rights)
  • We believe in a complete ban on abortion except in a situation when a mother’s life is in danger.
  • Liquor, drugs, adultery, gambling, etc. should be banned in society.
  • The experience and surveys show that “boy only” and “girl only” schools produce much better results. We will support the gradual transition from co-education to gender-specific schools.

I always thought that coming to Canada meant separation of religion and state. So let’s take a quick look at countries that are run by a government based on religion. Most of them are failed states because human rights are seen through the lens of religion instead of working the other way around.

Saudi Arabia is the first country that comes to mind followed by Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. All these countries have gross human rights violations because religion is misused. Women’s rights are almost non-existent and minorities are persecuted.

It goes without saying that Muslims in Canada will rally for this party just because it is “Islamic”. But are we going to also see Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu political parties in Canada (not to mention hundreds of other faiths that have so far existed side-by-side)?

However, as a Muslim (although I would never support such a party) I would begin by first questioning: Is this party going to include all 72 sects of Islam? Will it have an Ahmaddiya office bearer? Which of the five schools of Islamic thought is it pursuing?

The Islamic Party of Ontario may be naive in thinking it will move ahead. Perhaps it has not taken into account Canadians ability to think with reason and logic, and their unequivocal embrace of freedoms. It does not take rocket science to read between the lines and see the agenda of this new Islamic party.

I trust Canadians will take this seriously and ensure that the manifesto of this religious party crumbles before it even solidifies.

 

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Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza is ​an adviser to Clarion Project. ​She is an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity.