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Participants described these harmful experiences as reflecting a minority of the Canadian population and instead relayed a strong affinity to Canada, praising its multiculturalism, its respect for human rights, its freedom and life changing opportunities.The recently proposed Charter of Quebec Values has once again brought religious forms of dress and the question of religious accommodation to the forefront and CCMW’s position on the matter has remained steadfast.In terms of religious orientation, the majority of the respondents in the study adopted what can be viewed as a “conservative” approach to Islam.

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The majority of the participants were homemakers, while others were self-employed or worked in a range of fields including Muslim communities, consulting, engineering and web design.

Those that did not work expressed a desire to in their lifetime, but were concerned with the exclusion they would likely face in the workplace.

Our hope is that the research presented here will help build a more inclusive Canada by developing a greater understanding amongst policy officials, the media and the public, by providing them with knowledge about Muslim women and the niqab that is rooted in the voices of Muslim women themselves. can share only what they perceive as genuine common ground, not something that some simply offer to or even force upon others. Her most recent publication in the latter field is “Asking Questions about Shariah: Lessons from Ontario”, a chapter in the volume Debating Shariah: Islam, Gender Politics and Family Law Arbitration, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012.

As the late Václav Havel reminds us, “Different cultures . Professor Clarke is a longstanding ally of CCMW, having collaborated in several other projects, including the Muslim Marriage Contract Kit designed to provide a basis for Muslim couples to construct a more equal marriage using Muslim law.

This study is not intended to dwell upon the religious or theological basis of the practice itself, but rather it is first and foremost about the lived experiences of the women and the diverse narratives that they have shared in their responses.

The niqab itself is a complex issue and raises many questions for Muslim communities and the wider Canadian population itself.

Moreover, CCMW agrees that the accommodation for Muslim women to wear the face veil must be within reasonable limits and that women should show their faces under certain circumstances for the purposes of safety and security, a sentiment that was shared by the overwhelming majority of women in this study.

CCMW would like to extend its gratitude to the Ontario Trillium Foundation whose generous funds allowed this project to become a reality.

This larger trend of tolerance and accommodation within Canada is reflected in the optimistic attitudes that the women in the study expressed towards Canadian society as a whole.

While some participants relayed their negative experiences which ranged from physical assault to verbal harassment, not a single participant in the study described her overall experience in Canada as being negative.

The Council is also grateful to its Chapters and volunteers who worked tirelessly to gather participants and organize focus groups. Lynda Clarke and her research team at Concordia University, whose hard word and resolve made this study possible. can work only if they grow out of the deepest experience of everyone, not just some.” Lynda Clarke is Professor of Religion and Islam in the Department of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal.


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