Muslims and discrimination in Canadian culture and law: Cultural conflict theory
LE3 .A278 2012
Bachelor of Arts
In Canada, the remnants of essentialist colonial discourse conflicts with modern values and prevents the evolution of Canadian society from becoming a true multicultural state. Conflict between Canada’s established society and Muslim Canadians has challenged the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly Section Two which covers the right to practice religion. Using secondary sources and interviews with four Muslim Canadians, I examine common challenges that this large minority group experiences in Canadian society. I discuss the complications of distinguishing between the conflicting practises that are religious and ones that are cultural, and explain the importance of distinguishing the difference between them. Because the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects only the religious aspects of Muslim life in Canada, the cultural confrontation must be resolved within the community. To reconcile the injustices and ‘racial othering’ (Zawilski 2010) of the Muslim population, I propose a few solutions that would bring more social equality to this group and educate the community, reducing the stigma associated with the Muslim faith in the Western world. Ultimately, I found the challenges and solutions to be more complex than I had anticipated. The Muslim religion is spread over many different cultural traditions and Muslim immigrants have different national origins. Within these different cultures, customs and practices vary among individuals and groups.
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