In your recently published article in the Star on polygamy practiced in GTA the statement of certain religious leaders within the Muslim community needs to be qualified within the context of Canadian Muslims and as per se the Canadian Council of Imams. This council has actively existed and participated in the everyday politics of Canada since 1991, providing guidance for all layers of governance, while emphasizing the importance of adhering to the religious teachings of Islam, the obligation of following the law of the land and ensuring reasonable religious accommodation as constituted in our proud Charter of Rights and Freedom.
Muslims must realize that following the Canadian Law of marriage provides the very provision Islamic Law seeks i.e. protecting women, children and husband in the event of separation and of course during marriage. This Council has repeatedly made it known that it will only perform traditional ceremonies registered and approved by the Province. It has challenged any member who seeks to do otherwise and again call upon all leaders and followers to uphold the coveted laws of Canada that are especially based upon equity and belief in God.
To the surprise of many the elements of a civil marriage are the very primary factors of Nikah/Islamic marriage- consent, witnesses, dower; however in civil ceremonies the Faith of both parties remain a private affair. In having one's marriage performed in this legally licensed fashion provides the very essence of marriage- security and happiness.