Nov 15 2017
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Hidden illegal immigrants
First of all, let me explain that when I refer to illegal immigrants, I’m not referring to humans, but to what humans from other nations may bring with them when they immigrate to Canada, namely mindsets shaped by foreign legal systems and cultural norms. A discussion about legal and normative systems requires us to bravely navigate Canadian law, Islamic law, “community law” and God’s biblical law.
For example, a certain newcomer used to drive without a license at home and paid off police when necessary. No amount of explaining will convince him that won’t work here. Likely, he’ll learn Canadian law the hard way.
Polygamy is a more complex example. Canadian law has had a difficult time prosecuting religious polygamy because freedom of religion is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The history of the Winston Blackmore case from Bountiful, B.C. is instructive: http://vancouversun.com/news/crime/daphne-bramham-canadian-polygamy-law-on-trial-for-the-first-time-in-127-years. And since multiculturalism is included in sec. 27 of the Charter, cultures are to be protected equally.
It is not legal for immigrants to bring multiple wives into Canada. However, there are loopholes, both in Canadian practice and Islamic marriage practices. The infamous Shafia family honour killings in Kingston in 2009 exposed a polygamous household. Also see “How to immigrate to Canada if you’re a polygamist” at
http://www.macleans.ca/politics/how-to-get-into-canada-if-youre-a-polygamist/ and “Muslims claiming cash for numerous wives” at
http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/Canada/2008/02/08/4834833-sun.html. A matrimonial webpage titled “Muslim Canadian women who accept polygamy” doesn’t mention Canadian law or acceptable social norms.
The Qur’an permits a man to have four wives (Q 4:3). I once (rudely) asked two men in Jordan how many wives they had. They both answered, “One is more than enough!” Many Muslim men would only consider having one wife, but polygamy is a way of life in some Muslim cultures. Wives and the children they produce are signs of a man’s worth, and it’s inconceivable that women would live without a husband. A famous proverb says, “The shade of a man is better than the shade of a wall.” I know of divorced or widowed Canadian women being invited to become second wives of Muslim men. Sometimes these women become prey to harassment when they decline.
So how do we pray? Let’s begin by separating the belief system and the law from the people.
THE BELIEF SYSTEM & THE LAW: We pray that
- Iniquitous belief systems that oppress women be exposed and rejected by Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Canada. Remove the veil!
- Canadian law, with its Judaeo-Christian core, be strengthened to protect women and children from polygamy. He shall have dominion!
- Canadian law prevail over sharia
- Media be given grace to tackle the issue truthfully
THE PEOPLE: We pray for
- Wisdom and integrity for officials in the fields of immigration, law enforcement, social services and justice as they deal both generally and specifically with people who practice polygamy
- Muslim women in polygamous households to be attracted to the person of Jesus who delights to bestow freedom, dignity and honour
- The mindsets of Muslims who practice polygamy to be transformed by the Gospel
- Christian workers among Muslims to be wise and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance when they encounter polygamous situations
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