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TORONTO, Sept 12 – Ontario has reversed course on plans to let Muslims use Islamic sharia law to settle family disputes, and will now ban religious-based arbitration altogether, provincial officials said on Monday.
The province said it will scrap all religious-based dispute settlements on issues such as child custody and divorce, prompting elation from critics of the sharia proposals, and dismay from groups that have used religious arbitration in the past.
«I’m very excited, very happy,» said Homa Arjamond, co-chair of the No Religious Arbitration Coalition. «It is a victory for women’s rights, for children’s rights, for human rights.»
The coalition had argued that sharia — a code of law based primarily on the Koran as well as the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad — gives women and children fewer rights than men, and it had organized protest rallies in Toronto, in other Canadian cities and in Europe to push for a ban.(reuters)