Nov. 3, 2017
Editor’s Note: In this article published in The Social Contract, Madeline Weld discusses what she considers to be the not-so-hidden agenda behind Motion M-103.
In October 2004, Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss academic and philosopher, addressed Muslim leaders in Cairo. Ramadan’s grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded the Muslim Brotherhood in that city in 1928 in response to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924. The Muslim Brotherhood seeks to re-establish an Islamic caliphate and bring about the rule of Sharia law throughout the world. While Ramadan is regarded by many as a “moderate,” he has never disavowed anything written by his grandfather, but on the contrary has proclaimed his loyalty to al-Banna’s ideas. When Ramadan spoke in 2004, the debate about Islamic tribunals in Ontario was still raging, fuelled in part by Syed Mumtaz Ali, who was spearheading the proposal, announcing that the Islamic Institute for Civil Justice would soon begin arbitrating family matters on the basis of Sharia law and warning that Muslims who did not submit cases to Islamic arbitration panels were not “good Muslims.”
As reported by Egypt Today in October, 2004, Tariq Ramadan advised the Muslim leaders of Canada not to openly mention Sharia law for the time being. That term, he explained, “is laden with negative connotations in the Western mind.” Ramadan advised them to instead show “creativity” by using the actual Canadian legal framework to implement Sharia without the name. “It’s more useful for Muslims to examine the legal framework they have in Canada, which is one of the most open in the world, and come up with something Islamic that at the same time fits the Canadian reality.” A skeptic might say that he was giving his co-religionists cunning advice on how to implement Sharia law without awakening the sleeping masses.