A video shows Jawed Anwar, the leader of the fledgling Islamic Party of Ontario, delivering a speech at the Muslim Voters Association in February 2018 and saying that liberalism in Canada and specifically the Liberal Party of Canada is “killing Islam by laws, by legislation.”
“I always wonder why Muslims support Liberals… liberalism erases God in all matters and all aspects of life,” said Anwar.
“We Muslims believe and have faith that Islam provides guidance for both private and public lives,” he continues.
The “Islamic Party of Ontario” was reserved as a name for a provincial party with Elections Ontario in October of last year.
Very little is known about Anwar besides the fact that he is from Toronto. He recently targeted Toronto Sun writer and author Tarek Fatah in a column for an Islamic news site titled “As-Seerah,” where he is a regular contributor.
In the column, Anwar called Fatah an “Islamophobe” and “an open enemy of Islam” — names that Fatah notes are dangerous to his personal safety and tantamount to painting a target on his head for the Islamic world to see.
“An allegation such as the one labeled against me is the equivalent of declaring me an ‘apostate,’ which makes it a duty of other Muslims to kill me and thus secure a place in Paradise for themselves,” says Fatah in his Sun column.
According to a guide on registering new parties in the province, “the first step for a political party intending to register with Elections Ontario is to reserve a name.”
The next step is registering as a provincial party which enables certain benefits, including receiving political contributions and issuing tax receipts.
Parties with religious undertones are not unheard of in Canada, but this is the first time that an Islamist party hopes to enter the Canadian political scene.
By early last month, the Islamic Party of Ontario or “Islamic Ontario” had already published its principles and policies on its party website.
The page states that the party holds the belief that Islam is the native religion of Canada, justifying this claim by pointing to a clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that mentions the supremacy of God in Canada.
According to the Islamic Party of Canada, this means the supremacy of their God.
The party boldly claims that all of its views on justice, family and politics are based on the Islamic teachings found in the Qur’an.
“Islamic Party of Ontario sets its policy of governance, economy, social justice, human dignity, healthcare, family life, environment, and justice, etc. according to the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
In other words, it’s proposing Sharia law in Canada.
According to common interpretations of Sharia and the Qur’an, Islamic law claims the just punishment for adultery is stoning or lashing, while certain cases of theft are dealt with by amputation.
Among the party’s announced positions include a ban on abortion, asserting marriage as being between a man and a woman, ending the practice of charging interest, an end to teaching ideas about gender identity and a complete ban on liquor, drugs, adultery, and gambling.
The party also seeks to suggest a “strict” law “to ban blasphemy of any religious (all) symbols and personalities.”
It is yet to be seen if the Islamic Party of Ontario will register and operate as a provincial party in any official capacity, or how many Canadian Muslims would support the party’s policies.
One thing is for certain, Anwar is a deeply religious man with a mission to enter into Canadian politics and influence public discourse in this country.