Non-violent Islamists can be just as dangerous.
(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
Jihadist terrorists seek to destabilize our society through acts of war; meanwhile non-violent Islamists — driven by the same dogmatic ideology — work to quietly advance their cause and spread the doctrine of political Islam across the West.
Examples of Islamist practices seeping into our society are all around us, and perhaps the most concerning is the encroachment of Sharia Law.
What exactly is Sharia? It’s a set of guidelines and religious rules, stemming from the Islamic Quran and Hadith that guide Muslims and command an overall way of life. It’s more than just a legal system; Sharia dictates both the private moral teachings of the Islamic faith as well as strict public rules that all Muslims are commanded to live by.
While there are different ways to interpret Sharia, and different Islamic countries impose the law in different ways, there are several core principles that are always evident in Sharia Law.
First, women are second-class citizens according to Sharia.
In Islamic court, a women’s testimony is worth half that of a man. In an Islamic marriage, this according to a 2013 presentation by current Toronto Police chaplain Musleh Khan, a woman must “be obedient to her husband at all times,” “she is obliged to serve her husband,” and she must “respect her husband as the main decision-maker of the house.”
Second, there is no separation of religion and politics — or mosque and state — in Sharia. The Islamic prophet Mohamed was both a political ruler and God’s messenger, and therefore, Sharia is meant to guide both public and private life.
It is an all-encompassing religious and political system. That is why there are no secular Muslim countries. At best, Islamists want all Muslims to live under Sharia; at worst, they want it to govern every aspect of our society.
Third, our Western fundamental freedoms — freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association — are contrary to fundamental Sharia concepts.
In Islamic countries, there are apostasy laws against those who leave Islam (often punishable by death), as well as laws restricting the rights of non-Muslims and requiring them to pay additional taxes.
Under Sharia, artists, writers, poets and musicians are subject to blasphemy laws that restrict speech and prevent criticism of the Islamic prophet or of Islam itself.
This is why so many Muslim activists in Canada are critical of M-103, the motion calling for a “whole-of-government approach” to “ending Islamophobia” – or at least labelling it as a hate crime in the Canadian legal code.
Without a specific definition of “Islamophobia,” Muslim activists fear that the motion’s author, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, may intentionally or unintentionally be pushing for modern blasphemy laws.
Most Muslims in Canada are not Islamists. Most believe in the separation of politics and religion, and do not advocate for the doctrine of political Islam to be imposed on society.
Likewise, many Muslim immigrants who come to Canada are fleeing Sharia governance in pursuit of Western freedom and justice. The last thing they want is for Iranian laws, Saudi edicts or Islamic State brutality to follow them into Canada. The last thing we all want is for illiberal practices to undermine our fundamental freedoms.
We must, therefore, remain vigilant against the threat of stealth Sharia Law in Canada.