A couple of weeks ago I noted the move among Muslims in Canada to use the new arbitration law there to make Shari’ah binding in civil and domestic cases. Wasting no time, they’ve already set up an Islamic Institute to formalize the process.
At present the stated plan is for the parties to a particular dispute to consent to arbitration of that dispute, and then to agree whether Shari’ah or Canadian civil law should apply. If the system is at all successful, I can’t help but think that Muslims entering into marriages, partnerships and the like will more and more demand advance agreement to arbitration and to Shari’ah. Even apart from the specific requirements of Islam, there are reasons for doing so. For example, Muslim family law isn’t perfect, but it’s family law and it corresponds to an idea of fitness that people have lived by for a long time. In contrast, North American family law is increasingly not family law at all, it’s messy sexual entanglement law, and it corresponds to a welfare bureaucrat’s idea of fitness that no-one could possibly want to live by. In the long run Shari’ah is going win any competition between the two, and people who don’t like that will have to set up their own arbitration systems.