Canada: Crackdown on 'Barbaric' Islamist Practices Against Women

'Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act' to crack down on forced marriage, 'honor killings,' underage marriage.

Dalit Halevy and Tova Dvorin,

Canadian Parliament building
Canadian Parliament building
Reuters

The Canadian government, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, continues to take a hard stance against Islamist extremism - including its laws against women's rights and freedoms.

Dubbed the "Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act," the Canadian Parliament released new laws last week targeting "violence against women or girls, including spousal abuse, violence in the name of so-called “honour”, or other, mostly gender-based violence," according to its official website.

Ottawa also stressed in the explanatory note that the practices are "intolerable" and that lawbreakers would be dealt with harshly, to send a message to the current and future immigrant populations in Canada. 

As part of this, new immigrants married to more than one wife or who were convicted of crimes against women in their home countries will not be allowed to emigrate to Canadian soil, and immigrants currently in the country may be extradited to their home countries even without a previous conviction if found guilty of bigamy, the law stated. 

Civil marriage shall be determined by law, it added, and second marriages shall be considered valid only with the free consent of both spouses in the event of remarriage after a civil divorce.

The laws also stipulate, clearly, that 16 is the minimum age for marriage and that the marriage of any two citizens between the ages of 16-18 can only be finalized with parental consent from both sides. 

Forced marriages are now a criminal act, and all parties - including parents, any religious officials, and any other authority involved in the union - could now be tried, convicted, and sentenced to up to 5 years' prison time.

That ban will now also include taking children under 16 to foreign nations for the express purpose of forced marriage - an all-too-common trend in immigrant Muslim communities across the globe which may be increasing, according to a recent documentary on the subject in Vice News

Changes have also been made to the current Criminal Code regarding "honor killings," as well. 

"The proposed amendment would limit the defense of provocation so that lawful conduct by the victim that might be perceived by the accused as an insult, or offend that person or their sense of family “honor” or reputation, cannot be used to reduce murder to manslaughter," the bill stipulates. 

The new bill surfaces after multiple Islamist terrorist attacks in Canada over the past several weeks, including a shootout in the Canadian Parliament and the hit-and-run in Quebec against Canadian soldiers by a terrorist affiliated with Islamic State. 

It also surfaces amid statistics that "honor killings" have been on the rise worldwide, but specifically in Canada where scant legal data on the issue indicated in 2012 that the rate of the murders had tripled in a 12-year period. 








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