Today Conservative MPP Lisa Macleod raised the issue of polygamy in Ontario. I strongly support her effort to challenge provincial liberal premier Dalton McGuinty and his government’s sleazy endorsement of polygamy through it’s inaction to legally confront it. I was not surprised to hear the open comments supporting the practice made by wahhabi sharia frontman Aly Hindy, nor to hear that he regularly officiates polygamous ceremonies. I am however deeply concerned that the Liberal government has chosen to ignore this practice, despite Mr. Hindy’s public endorsement of it, along with predictable support made by other Islamic organizations within Ontario’s Muslim community.
” This is our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion. If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that”. The response made by Cleric Aly Hindy, Salahuddin Islamic Centre, Scarborough, Ontario, when asked of his officiating polygamous marriages.
I have found no evidence that polygamous marriages are required of Muslims in the Qur’an. Although hadith may allow a man to marry up to four wives, polygamy is not a prerequisite for religious obligation and the distinction between a religious command and a tribal “allowance” is an important distinction that must be made. Simply put, it is the difference between “I must have a harem” and “ I want to have a harem”. In the few countries where polygamy exists, there are “strict guidelines” surrounding the practice with necessity (the support of widows and orphans) being the primary motivator. I find it difficult to believe that any Muslim man living in the province of Ontario would find it necessary to have multiple wives out of necessity. Tribal rubbish yes, necessity no.
Under the criminal code of Canada, sections 293, 294 and 295 are very clear regarding polygamy. I have heard the statement made by the Liberals that Muslim men who have married more than one wife in their country of origin and immigrate to Canada may continue the practice, although section 293 is clear that the offence also applies to those who are parties to a valid, foreign polygamous marriage. I have neither read, nor heard of any amendment to these section(s), which has either been proposed or passed reforming the existing Canadian laws allowing this accommodation. Essentially then, polygamy and anyone who solemnizes such a marriage, is presently committing an indictable offence under the current law. So why then, isn’t Aly Hindy sitting on his bare arse in a jail cell?
It is to be suspected that those who support polygamy in Ontario and in other parts of Canada, will no doubt eventually seek legal protection for it’s existence and maintenance under the Charter right of “freedom of religion”. But as with other charter rights, the right to religious freedom is not absolute. Considering that some Canadians oppose polygamy, they may scream loud enough so as to aid the government’s claim that section 293 is a valid limitation to this religious freedom when the law is eventually challenged. One can only hope we have the guts to hold the line.
Canada has seen much diversity within the family. Cohabitation, same-sex marriage, single parenting, etc. have all found, albeit with varying degrees of challenge, respectful places within our christian society. Polygamy however is particularly distressing, in that it raises deep concerns regarding gender equality. These marriages universally appear to be associated with inequality toward women and support patriarchal, religious or customary practices that denigrate the status of women within whatever society they are accepted. It is by no coincidence that the United Nations condemns the practice. Would most Canadians be prepared to condone such a departure from the value of gender equality, which so many worked so hard to achieve? What would it mean to live alongside such a contrary ideal that many find so deeply offensive to our sensibilities? Is this the one example of cultural diversity asked from us that we would find intolerable enough to demand multicultural policy reform or perhaps consider abolishing the policy altogether? Ten years ago I would have considered myself a lunatic for thinking these questions. Now I’m considered a lunatic for asking them.
If a self-appointed, no-name Imam can officiate an Islamic marriage outside of secular Canadian civil law, then by the same logic and extension he can also officiate a divorce in the same manner. This poses the potential for rampant abuse: unfair child custody, inequities of property division and most likely, abandonment. Once the marriage is dissolved, proper monitoring with the assurance of fairness through the proper civil courts is absent. Our established secular laws concerning marriage also do not infringe upon any Muslim man’s right to practice his religion in proper accordance to Islam since he is free and able to marry one person; nor do they discriminate since these same laws pertaining to marriage apply to all Canadians, equally. They do however mitigate one’s behaviour to conform to and respect the nation’s values and western tradition; unreasonable to a radical.
When Mr. McGuinty’s government was challenged to adopt sharia for family issues, he resoundingly said NO! but not first without enormous national and international pressure, particularly from Muslim women. Since then he seems to have become blind to the ongoing practice of polygamy, which is sharia, traditionally left in the hands of hardcore Imams to interpret at their own discretion. This is unacceptable. By accommodating, which we are doing, the fracture that already exists within the Muslim community deepens, the isolation of women and children living in these arrangements increases and existing tensions between fundamentalist Muslim groups and their more “moderate” counterparts is further accentuated, all of which contribute to greater social sickness. And what of the financial cost? From an economic perspective, it is offensive to ask Canadians to subsidize polygamy through social assistance and welfare programs, never mind the increasing burden it places on an already troubled provincial economy.
We have come to believe through multicultual pap that it is insensitive to the needs of others and no longer appropriate to defend our heritage and form the future of our own country with truth and pride. Instead we acquiesce, cower and accept the unacceptable. It has become shameful to even consider let alone declare that most aspects of multiculturalism and diversity may be wrong for Canada, yet we let the trudeaupian frankenstein we’ve created run amok, silencing criticism and dismissing honest concern. Some Muslims already realize this, and despite our idiocy ask that we reject the harshest principles of Islam. They must be gobsmacked to realize most don’t care.
What comes after polygamy? Genital mutilation on kitchen tables? Girls disappearing from schools to attend their forced marriages or soaring honour killings? In England and France this is par for the course. Aly Hindy also realizes a good thing when he sees it and is blissfully happy to take full advantage of our weakness to firmly establish the ideology of Muhammed and relegate us to dhimmitude status. We have become pathetically insincere to ourselves, to our past, our heritage, our values and our future.
The constant creep of sharia within Canada is a dangerous problem with disasterous consequences. It needs serious attention now. Polygamy is only one on a long list of undesirable, absurd, sickly practices. If accepted, ignored or endorsed by weak-kneed politicians and an apathetic citizenry they have the potential to alter Canadian society irreversably. To quote a passage from Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone”: ” We have been shirking too long, and that’s unworthy of a great civilization. To see off the new Dark Ages will be tough and demanding. The alternative will be worse”.