Religion in a Secular World: The Case of Shariah Law in Canada
As large numbers of Muslims continue to establish themselves in the West, they inevitably have to deal with the challenge of secularism. The fundamental question which is often asked is: how can a Muslim maintain his faith in a largely secular environment? Attempts to deal with this issue have led to the establishment of religious centres, Islamic schools, and various faith-oriented organizations, all within the framework of a multicultural society. A more recent effort is the attempt to incorporate Shari’ah-based arbitrations within the secular legal structure. In Canada, such an effort was met with unfortunate results. This paper attempts to understand the reasons for the unsuccessful endeavour to establish a Shari’ah-based tribunal system in Canada within the greater context of the conflict between religion and secularism, particularly in the modern world.