So should you be concerned or even afraid of the Islamic Party of Ontario? That is a fair question as Canada is a very liberal democracy and the IPoO is… well… not. We spent several hours researching the party and wrote up the 10 Quick Facts You Should Know About the Islamic Party of Ontario which includes:
4 – The Islamic Party of Ontario wants to roll back or ban:
- Abortion: Abortion is a federal issue so Provincial parties are free to have any opinion they want, but it will have no immediate impact.
- LGBTQ Rights: Their official PRINCIPLES & POLICIES state “The concept of “gender identity” or “seven-colour gender” is a false concept.” and “Marriage is a sacred union between a man and woman… God made Adam and Eve –not Adam and Steve”
- Doctor Assisted Suicide: “No one has the right to take his own or another’s life due to depression or disease. It is only God who gives life and can take back the life whenever He wants.”
- Liquor and Gambling: “Liquor, drugs, adultery, gambling, etc. should be banned in society.”
- Sport Hunting: “the right to be free from trophy hunting and other “sports” hunting that exploit the animals…”
- Religious Commentary: “A strict law will be suggested to ban blasphemy of any religious (all) symbols and personalities”
- Full Funding of Faith Based Schools: “Government funding to all faith-based schools… must be granted”
- The Environment: “Don’t waste, don’t pollute the environment. Wasting a few drops of water even if you are sitting at the brink of a river, or plucking a small leaf from a tree without reason is not allowed in the Islamic way of life”
- Green Energy: They want 100% renewable energy
- Animal Rights: “All animals –whether pets, wildlife, or food animals— have the right to live without abuse and exploitation”
- Alternative Medicine: “We support investment in research… that may be more effective and less expensive; eg, naturopathy, herbal, homeopathy”
- Small Government: “Less tax, small but efficient government”
9 – The IPoO is Steeped in Islamic Religious Writings:
By this we mean that the fledgling party often does not express itself in direct policy discussions. Instead there is frequently long winded, sermon like explanations. Here is a brief excerpt from a letter the IPoO’s founder, Jawed Anwar, wrote to Kathleen Wynn in 2013
“…Muhammad (peace be upon him), I want to draw your attention to what he (peace be upon him) brought as a warning from God [through the angel Jibril (Gabriel) ]. Similar warnings have been brought by Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh), …”
10 – Placing Islamic Religious Principles Above All Else:
“The word Islam means ‘surrender’ and ‘peace’. That means Islam requires surrender to God to attain peace.” “Believing in God’s Supremacy means believing in His Oneness, His Authority, and His Obedience in all spheres of life.”
As usual we strive to stick to the facts and avoid opinion but this topic does lend itself to controversy so we thought some ‘fact based opinion’ might be helpful here.
In a democracy, it is critically important to not just tolerate but really listen to opposing points of view. Of course in 2018 it became common to degrade that requirement for consultation by saying that it is equally important to not amplify radicals, so if you think the IPoO are radicals, you will struggle with this. For the vast majority of Canadian’s the Islamic Party of Ontario represents “the other side” and they do have a right to be heard.
However, an exceptionally large percentage or Canadians, including both recent immigrants and multi-generational citizens, will look on the IPoO with great caution. The Canadian tradition has separated Church and State at an ever increasing pace over the last 100 years so.
The IPoO would counter with a quote like:
(The) Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms starts with, “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”
In reality that quote and so many other legal doctrines are vestiges of a bygone era. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good example because it was written in 1982 when 40% of Canadians regularly attended some sort of church. By the year 2000 that number had dropped to 30% and in 2015 only 23% of Canadians attended church services at least once per month. According to Statistics Canada, about 25% of Canadians had absolutely no religious affiliation in 2004.
Beyond that, right or wrong, the fact is that more than half of the entire Canadian population which includes Muslims, have an “unfavourable view of Islam”
A June 2018 report also indicates that:
According to the Angus Reid Institute, “Six-in-ten (58%) say that religion should be kept out of public life completely.” and only 9% of religiously committed Canadians value intellectual inquiry as a primary endeavour.
So very few Canadians even want to talk seriously about religious topics.
The point is that the trend for faith based anything is on the decline and Islamic movements inside Canada are highly unlikely to gain traction even in the long run.
On a related note we just finished reading 50 Islam Ideas You Really Need to Know which we found quite interesting.