The Perils of Faith-Based Multiculturalism
The Case of Shari'a in Canada

Rahnema, Saeed
Date Written:  2006-01-01
Publisher:  Canadian Dimension, Canada
Year Published:  2006
Pages:  3pp   Resource Type:  Pamphlet
Cx Number:  CX16083

Conservative religious leaders have become more vocal and demanding, and governments are giving in to their demands without much regard for the serious consequences for democracy and citizens’ rights.



Those who unconditionally push for group rights do not see, or perhaps care about, the contradictions between the rights of the group and the universal rights of all citizens, and more specifically the contradictions between the rights of the group and its individual members.
This is partly because of the prevalent stereotype that considers Muslims to be a homogenous "community" with essentially different "values"


Neither the government of the time, nor the supporters of Shari'a, asked the important questions of whether there exist universally agreed-upon Islamic religious laws (Shari'a) and to what extent the Islamic leaders who push for Shari'a represent the supposed "Muslim community." In fact, the answers to both questions are negative.
Contrary to the simplistic views in the West, ironically shared and intentionally propagated by the Muslim orthodoxy, Islam is not a monolithic religion.


[An] important and commonly neglected issue is that not everyone in the Islamic world is a Muslim, and not every Muslim-born individual is religious. Islamic countries and communities of Muslim origin, like other communities, have practicing individuals, non-practising skeptics, secular, laic, or even atheist citizens. Among the practicing Muslims, there are radical Islamists (who constitute a very small minority) and a vast majority of peaceful and moderate adherents. This diversity is persistently ignored - and, particularly, the existence of a large number of secular and laic persons of Muslim background is completely overlooked.

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