Abdication would pose legal challenges for imperial system



The video message from Japan’s 82-year-old Emperor Akihito released Monday, indicating his desire to abdicate, raises a host of legal issues, including how the Constitution defines the emperor and how to revise the Imperial House Law.

The law, which sets out rules for imperial affairs, including the line of succession, has no provision for abdication. To make abdication possible, a revision of the law or enactment of an ad hoc law would be required.

Imperial succession takes place upon the demise of an emperor, as stated in Article 4 of the existing law, enacted in 1947. The last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku in 1817.

The law also stipulates that a regent shall be established in the event that “the Emperor is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance and is unable to perform his acts in matters of state.”

Looking at how the emperor is described in Japan’s postwar Constitution, Article 1 states the emperor is the “symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.”

A provision on abdication that relied on the emperor’s desire would be inconsistent with the emperor’s role as defined in the supreme law.

Any potential change to the emperor’s role would make his status as a symbol of the state uncertain and mark a change to the current imperial system, sources privy to the matter said.

Another contentious point relates to Article 4, which states that the emperor “shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government.”

If the government complied with the emperor’s desire by taking steps for legal changes to enable abdication, the move could be viewed as political involvement on the part of the emperor, in violation of the Constitution, government sources said.

The government has responded in parliament that if an emperor is allowed to abdicate, there would be “a retired emperor” and such a situation could prove harmful. The government has said a situation could also arise in which an emperor is forced to step down against his wishes.

If the Imperial House Law was made subject to amendment, it could also reignite debate about allowing women and their descendants to ascend the throne, as well as enabling female members of the imperial family to establish their own imperial branches after marriage to commoners.

The law’s Article 1 states that the imperial heir must be “a male offspring in the male line belonging to the Imperial Lineage.”

Amid concern that the imperial family would not be able to maintain its activities in a stable manner, given its large number of female members, the government in October 2012 proposed creating female imperial branches, but debate fizzled out due to a change in government.

To avoid going down this road, the idea of a special law only applicable to the abdication of Emperor Akihito is being floated, sources close to the matter said.

Citing the emperor’s role as being tied to the “will of the people,” a government source said the passage of any legislation for abdication would require the almost unanimous approval of Diet lawmakers as representatives of the nation.

Among other tricky legal issues is how to define the relationship between a former emperor and the new emperor, as well as the powers of the new emperor.

Legal provisions related to the financial arrangements for a retired emperor, such as his residence, budget for living expenses and staff arrangements, would also be required.

The role of the crown prince’s brother Prince Akishino following the emperor’s abdication would also need to be discussed.

If the emperor’s eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, ascends to the throne in accordance with the order of succession stipulated in the current law, the next in line would be Prince Akishino. But, under the law, there would be no crown prince as the position is held only by the son of an emperor.


B.C. Supreme Court: Salafi Islamic groups “reject any form of violent jihad”


B.C. Supreme Court judge Catherine Bruce acquitted John Nuttall and Amanda Korody of terror charges ruling that the RCMP used trickery and subterfuge to manipulate them into planting pressure cooker bombs in a failed attempt to blow up the B.C. Legislature on Canada Day in 2013.

Simply put, the world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalized people who have neither the capacity nor sufficient motivation to do it themselves,” Justice Bruce wrote. “The police decided they had to aggressively engineer the plan for Nuttall and Korordy and make them think it was their own. The spectre of the defendants serving a life sentence for a crime that the police manufactured by exploiting their vulnerabilities … is offensive to our concept of fundamental justice.”

Justice Bruce also determined that the major groups in Islam, the Salafi movement and “Modernist traditions” of Islam, unequivocally oppose violent jihad and interpret the meaning of jihad in Islam as mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (verbally transmitted record of Mohammad’s teachings) as a psychological inner struggle of a Muslim to avoid immoral behavior.

Relying on the Defence’ expert witness on Islam, Dr. Omid Safi, a professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University in North Carolina, USA, Justice Bruce wrote in this regard the following:

While the Salafi and Modernist traditions within the Islamic faith have tended to support individuals coming to an independent reasoning regarding the Quran and the hadiths, even these groups have rejected any form of violent jihad and have confined this concept to an internal struggle.”

Justice Bruce’s ruling goes in line with the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assessed the Boston Marathonbombing on April 15, 2013 in which 3 civilians were murdered and 264 injured. When asked for his comment on the attack, Trudeau, then the leader of the Liberal Party, said: “We have to look at the root causes... there is no question that this happened, because there is someone who feels completely excluded, completely at war with innocents, a war with a society and our approach has to be, OK, where those tensions come from?”

In 2014, Trudeau said to a Surrey (BC) Muslim magazine that his lesson from the 9/11 terrorist attacks is that “any time such an incident does occur there has to be strong message needed to be sent to separate the muslims from the terrorist…”

Trudeau also argued that Islam is not incompatible with the Western secular democracy, a free place like Canada,” emphasizing that “we need to make sure that we’re working with communities like the Muslim community for example to demonstrate that Islam is not incompatible with free and open Western societies.”

Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued on July 3, 2016 a statement in which he drew a clear distinction between ISIS which “demonstrates its complete disregard for human life” and Islam which is “a religion of peace that fosters the respect and promotion of human life.”

In stark contrast to Justice Bruce’s ruling and Trudeau government’s policy, senior Canadian Imams have been repeatedly warning of the dangers of the Salafi movement to the national security of Canada.

Calgary Imam: Salafi Imams are extremists, recruit Muslims to ISIS

Imam Syed Soharwardy of Calgary, the head of the Calgary-based Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the founder of Muslims Against Terrorism, is often invited by CBC as a guest expert to discuss issues related to terrorism and radicalization. He is introduced as a moderate voice in the Muslim community who “has worked to prevent the radicalization of youth in Canada.”

On his Facebook page, Soharwardy elaborates in detail his views on terrorism. He emphasizes that Islam and Muslims are not the cause for terrorist attacks in the name of Islam. The culprits, according to Soharwardy, are the Salafis, the Wahabis and the Deobandis. He also went on to say that “DAESH (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Taliban, Al Shabab, Al Nusra, Lashkar Taiba, Lashkar Jhangwi, etc.. are all followers of Wahabi beliefs” and all are not Muslims.”

Soharwardy warns of the infiltration of the Wahabi/ Salafi ideology into Canada revealing that the recruitment to ISIS is done inside the mosques which are mainly run by Wahabi/ Salafi imams. The Following are excerpts from Soharwardy’s postings:

February 6, 2015 (archive) – “Being an ally of Saudi Arabia Canadian government has given free hand to Wahabi / Salafi organizations in Canada to convert Muslims to Wahabism / Salafism. This conversion is the opening door for recruitment and radicalization.

December 18, 2014 (archive) – “What opens the gate towards radicalization? The answer is simple. The Wahabi / Salafi and Deobandi beliefs are widely different from those of the overwhelming majority of Muslims. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not have the resources to counter the Wahabi / Deobandi propaganda and brainwashing. The Wahabis / Salafis / Deobandis control an overwhelming majority of mosques due to the huge support from the US, Western and Saudi governments.”

August 29, 2014 (archive) – “The heavy ISIS recruitment of Calgarians / Canadians is taking place in Canada but the government is not waking up.”

April 24, 2014 (archive) – “In Canada and elsewhere in the western world the extremists are open and freely recruiting and brainwashing innocent Muslims. Nothing has been done to stop this recruitment and brainwashing.”

In a testimony in front of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on February 2, 2015, Soharwardy provided further details about the radical Islamic brainwashing in Canadian universities. The following are excerpts from his testimony:

The money comes in different ways, in secret ways. Money comes through institutions.

There are two organizations in Canada. Basically they are U.S. organizations that are operating in Canada.

One is called AlMaghrib Institute, the other is called AlKauthar Institute.

Both work in universities, not in mosques. Both give lectures. Both organize seminars.

They are the ones who brainwash these young kids in lectures. Their topic is very normal: We’re going to talk about the life of Prophet Muhammad. We’re going to talk about how to live in a non-Muslim society. When you look on the surface, the topics are very normal No one has a problem.

But when you develop an association with them — not everybody develops a long-term relationship, only a few — then the brainwashing begins.

The shoe bomber in the United States attended AlMaghrib Institute lectures.

These people are given a very free hand in our universities and colleges. They are organizing lectures and seminars…

Go after the ideology of Wahhabi Salafi. That is the opening door for recruitment. Yes, not every Wahhabi Salafi imam recruits towards ISIL and ISIS and extremism. I agree with that, but there are a few imams, and they are the only imams who are the opening door for recruitment.

Do these three things. Go after the recruitment process. It’s not just the recruits. It is the one who brainwashes; it is the one who teaches intolerance, and that intolerance is towards Muslims too, by the way. Look at the intolerance.”

Brampton Imam: Salafi Islam is “like a poison”, Sufi Islam is the answer to terrorism

Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak (الشيخ فيصل عبد الرزاق), a well known Sufi Imam in Brampton, Ontario, and the founder of the Islamic Forum of Canada, issued on June 12, 2016 a statement condemning the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.

The Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, armed with an assault rifle, murdered on Sunday, June 12, 2016, approximately 50 people and injured 53 injured (some in critical condition) at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. The attacker, an American citizen of Afghan parents, was killed by Police.

Abdur-Razak, who serves also as the Ameer (Spiritual Leader) of the Ahlus Sunnah Council of Canada (CCAS) and the Spiritual Guide of ASJA (Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association of Trinadad & Tobago),stated the following on behalf of the Islamic Forum of Canada :

The Islamic Forum of Canada would like to express our shock, sorrow, and condemnation of the murder of 50 people this morning (Sunday, June 12th, 2016) in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Like everyone else, we are searching for answers and trying to understand why and how this happened, and what caused it to reach this point.

Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with the families of the deceased and the injured.

Especially during this month of Ramadan, a time of deep spirituality, compassion, self-control, and generosity, we are horrified by this action.

As law abiding Muslims, we reiterate our commitment to peace, safety, and security for everyone.

And we pray that God Almighty will bless all of us with peace and security.”

In a follow-up videotaped message to Canadian Muslims, Abdur-Razak accused a “specific group” (in Islam) of terrorism because of its “ideology and teachings” which create “this type of behavior.”

According to Abdur-Razak, the solution to terrorism lies in the inner mystical dimension of Islam (Sufism), as it is proven by the fact that Muslims who adopted the Sufi way of life and faith were never involved in terrorism.

The following is Abdur-Razak’s message to Canadian Muslims on June 13, 2016 (to watch the video click here):

We need to return back to Islamic spirituality, what we call Tasawwuf (تصوف) or Sufism,because this gives us a direction for our actions. It gives us a sense of responsibility for ouractions.

People are mindful of what they do when they can have the spiritual connection with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him and Allah, glorious and exalted is He.

And so you never have any a Sufi suicide bomber. You’ve never had any of them a Sufi who is a suicide bomber. All the suicide bombers and those who committed terrorist activities, they come from a specific group, identifiable group, whose ideology and teachings foment this type of behavior, give rise to this type of behavior and he have to be mindful about this.”

In his weekly sermons few years ago, Abdur-Razak described the Salafi ideology (adopted by the Salafi movement, the Wahabi Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood) as “extreme”, “indoctrination, like a brainwashing” and those who espouse it are “misguided”, “very aggressive” and “sometimes they can be violent”.

The following are excerpts from Abdur-Razak’s sermons referring to the Canadian Salafi Muslims:

This Salafis are “like a disease in the Muslim community”

“I go to Guyana or to Trinidad I hear complaints all the time, hear complaints all the time from Imams of behavior of members of this group. Now, a lot of these young Muslims, they think they’re doing what is right. They think they want to to do something for Islam, but they are mislead, misguided by this ideology, the Salafi ideology, this extreme ideology.”

“Here in Canada, in America, in England the same thing, the UK and so many countries, so many countries, it continues to happen. This group is almost like a disease in the Muslim community, destroying the Muslim community from within. That you need to be mindful of…”

“This extremism, that’s really shameful that Muslims behave like this, but this is the way of this particular group the Salafi group. I usually don’t mention names of any group, you know that, but because of the gravity of the sinful act they committed they need to be exposed, that you can protect yourself from them, that you stop associating yourselves with Salafis, you stop going to masjids [mosques] where there are Salafi Imams, keep away from that, protect yourself from this, protect your family, protect your children, because their ideas are like a poison.”

“Once it gets to you it is difficult to remove it, it is difficult to remove it. And we’ve seen it time and time again children disobeying their parents, disrespecting their parents, not listening to their parents, because they are members of this group , they do what the group tell them to do. It is almost like indoctrination, like a brainwashing that goes on. May Allah Glorified and Exalted be He, protect us, God Willing.

“It’s happening here in Canada, they’re imposing their beliefs on everyone”

“After the Khutba [sermon] yesterday several brothers came to me and they were saying that they experience that in their own families, in their own families, of either their son or their nephew or someone who is influenced by this group, and that person, that boy, whether they are teenage or young adult, they stop showing any respect for their parents, very disrespectful, very arrogant the way they behave and condemning people bidaa [unlawful religious innovation], bidaa, shirk [practicing idolatry or polytheism] and so on, anything that they don’t like, they keep doing this.”

“I mentioned a point of, I went to many countries to give lectures and one of the common, one of the most frequent complaints of people like Imams in different masjids [mosques] and so on, complaints about this group the Salafi group, the Salafi group…”

“On Eid day [Eid al-Fitr] right here in this masjid, there is a family who came to me almost crying, the mother, the daughters, they complain about their son. He used to come here. [He] stopped coming. He got mixed up with this group, this extreme group. Sometime in Ramadan he just wrote them a note, said I’m going. He’s gone for more than a month. No contact with them, gone with the group. They don’t know how to contact him, he’s not contacting them, they thought he’d come back for Eid [Eid al-Fitr], the night before Eid he’d come back to be with his parents and so on. [He] never showed up . The extremist attitude that this group indoctrinates people with.

“I want to let you know of this because it will get worse if we don’t protect ourselves from this group, the Salafi group. They’re destroying graves and masjids [mosques] in Libya, they’ve attempted the same thing in Egypt. In Somalia they’ve done so much, the same group, and so on. It’s happening here as well. It’s happening here in Canada, of them imposing their beliefs on everyone. They’re very aggressive. Sometimes they can be violent as we have seen there [in Libya]. People died.”

This is the Salafi Dawa [call to Islam], it destroys you”

“I don’t usually mention names in my Khutba [sermon], but I have to mention it today. That I can at least, those of you, who are here if you belong to any Salafi group, get rid of them, protect your Islam by removing yourself from any involvement in any Salafi group. The worst threat that the Muslim Ummah [nation] is facing today is the Salafis.

“Not the non-Muslims, the Salafis. The worst threats that they are faced with are the Salafis. One of our families on Eid day, they probably here, yes there are here. They came to me, the mother, the sister, crying, one of their sons, he just left them a note: I’m gone. [He] left them a note, left the home, I’m gone, because he is with this extreme group, no respect for his parents.

“This is in Ramadan he did it, on Eid day [Eid al-Fitr] they thought he would come back, at least it’s Eid to be with his parents and his family. No. This is what it does to you, destroys you. This is the Salafi Daawa [call to Islam]. It destroys you. It has nothing to do with the Islam and the Prophet peace be upon him…”

Some Salafis after graduating Islamic university of Madina [Saudi Arabia] return to Canada to spread hatred

“Within Canada, even in Canada and in other countries, the same complaints I receive. This particular group, members of the Salafi group causing ‘fitna’ [sedition], disunity, problems, conflicts in ‘masjids’ [mosques]…”

“Some of them go to study at Islamic university of Madina [Saudi Arabia], and then they come back and they start condemning everything, criticizing everything and causing hatred and disunity in our community.”

Leave the Salafi group, protect yourself from that danger”

If you have good words to say, if you are guided by Allah and by the Prophet, peace be upon him, your efforts will lead to goodness, your efforts will lead to harmony, your efforts will lead to people living a happy life, it wouldn’t bring disunity and finta [sedition] and confusion in a Muslim community. This is what the Salafi group is doing.”

“And so I appeal to those of you who belong to the Salafi group, maybe because of you’re loyal to Islam, you want to do what is right. You want to follow Koran and Sunnah, go back to the Sunni way, leave the Salafi group, protect yourself from that danger, go back to the Sunni way, the way of the prophet peace be upon him.”

ICNA Canada’s online syllabus: Relentless jihad against the infidels

ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Canada is an Islamic nationalwide organization strivingto build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam.” Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi is the Amir (President) of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada and is also serving as Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams.

An online book posted on ICNA’s official website states among other things the following:

Polytheists and infidels should be invited to Islam, and if they reject the invitation, then Jihad be made against them… The objective of Jihad. This objective warrants that one must struggle against Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. Jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved… it is incumbent on the Mulsims to wage Jihad against them to wipe out Kufr and Shirk and raise the banner of Tauhid everywhere… so long as Kufr [disbelief] is present in this world, it is necessary to wage Jihad against it to finish it off, and so long as all the disbelievers do not openly accept Islam and adopt the Islamic way of life, Muslims are duty- bound to make Jihad against them.”

Free book at Dundas Square condones stoning, crucifixion and chopping off limbs

Muslim Dawah activists at Dundas Square distributed last year the book “Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptionsauthored by Abdul-Rahman al-Sheha. On the back cover of the book an official sticker of Walk in Islamic Info Center (WIIC) was attached containing a Quranic verse and WIIC’s contact information (address, phones, email and website).

The following are excerpts of the book that addresses human rights in the ideal Islamic State “in the light of perfectly balanced system of laws and principles of Islam” and contends that “both the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah aim to produce an ideal individual in an ideal society”:

Jihad is… an honorable ‘struggle’ and resistance against oppressors and those who oppose the peaceful spread of Allah’s Word and faith in Him and His religion of Islam… Islam prohibits this ‘war’ and allows for Jihad in the three situations, namely:

“1) Defense of Life, Property and National Boundaries, without transgression…

“2) Removing oppression and championing the just rights of the oppressed people…

“3) Defense of Faith and Religion… A ‘Mujahid’ (Muslim fighter for the cause of Allah)… has a clear understanding that Jihad is only for just reasons: to protect Islam and the Muslims, and to spread the message of Islam and Word of Allah. If the enemies of Islam who are fighting the Muslims cease their attack, and accept terms for a just peace, the Muslim fighters are commanded to cease hostilities…

“The non-Muslim residents of an Islamic state are required to pay a minimal tax called ‘Jizyah’which is specific type of head-tax collected from individuals who do not accept Islam and desire to keep their religion while living in an Islamic state and under Islamic rule…

If the robber kills and seizes the money, the punishment may be killing and crucifixion. If he takes money and threatens but does not kill or assault, the punishment may be amputation of his hand and leg. If he kills the victim but does not take his money, he may be executed as in murder… Robbery and Theft: Allah (ft) set the penalty of cutting the hand as a penalty for theft

“As for the previously married male or female who commit adultery, the punishment applied to them is stoning to death

Islamic Shari’ah decrees execution for the person who apostatizes after accepting Islam as a way of life, and rejects Islamic beliefs and laws…”

Montreal Imam: Apostates: “to be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides”

Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Kader Kandil (أحمد عبد القادر قنديل) serves since 2007 as the imam of al-Jisr Mosque in Laval, Quebec and he is a member of Conseil des imams du Québec (Imams Council of Quebec). In asermon on May 12, 2013 at Alrawdah Mosque in Montreal (originally in Arabic), Kandil explained “The Types of Apostasy” and among other things said the following:

The second case deals with a person who fights against Allah and His messenger and joined a vile group. His verdict will not be a regular execution. His verdict will be identical to the punishment for banditry. ‘Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides.’ [Quran 5:33]. This is the difference between them. The first will be asked to repent and the second will be killed immediately without repentance or asking him to repent…”

Toronto Imam: Death penalty for those who insult the prophets

Rageah, a former Imam at the Abu Hurairah Mosque in Toronto and an instructor for the AlMaghrib Institute, was a guest speaker (February 2012) at the University of Waterloo as part of the Islamic Awareness Week organized by the local Muslim Students Association (MSA) and partially funded by the university. Rageah implicitly justified the death penalty for apostates and those who insult the prophets.