ISLAMIC LAWAND THE CANADIAN MOSAIC: POLITICS, JURISPRUDENCE, AND MULTICULTURALACCOMMODATION
AbstractThe Ontario Sharia debate in 2004–05 sparked controversy world-wide about the extent to which a religious community such as Muslims could find space in a liberal legal system such as Canada’s. While Ontario may have rejected recommendations about how to accommodate religious groups within the sovereign legal system, the continued relevance of this fundamental issue remains a global concern. The outcry against Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who argued for a degree of legal accommodation for British Muslims, is only one example among many. The Canadian debate has raised fundamental questions that have not and may not ever dissipate as long as liberal secular polities contend with questions of reasonable accommodation. This paper offers an analysis of the Ontario debate from the perspective of Islamic legal history, jurisprudence, and the role civil society can play in mediating the competing voices in such debates.
Keywords:Legal History, Islamic Law, Sharia, Islamic Jurisprudence
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