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Freedom of religion and Canada's commitments to multiculturalism: A critical analysis of the rights-based approach

Posted on:2010-12-26Degree:LL.MType:Thesis
University:University of Toronto (Canada)Candidate:Kislowicz, HowardFull Text:PDF
This thesis argues that the current Canadian approach to freedom of religion is inconsistent with Canada's approach to multiculturalism. It begins by placing Canada's multiculturalism legislation into the broader intellectual context of the leading political theories on the governance of diverse populations. It then examines the Canadian case law regarding freedom of religion, arguing that the prevailing rights-based approach produces consequences inconsistent with Canada's legislated commitments to multiculturalism. It posits that the individualism of rights-based analysis, the pressure to frame religion in pre-defined ways, and the tendency of courts to speak in the language of tolerance are all troublesome. Further, it argues that when disputes are framed in terms of rights, meaningful dialogue is less likely and compromises are difficult to achieve. It then proposes an alternative, "difference-based" approach to disputes involving religion, which provides a framework more consistent with Canada's multicultural ideals.
Keywords/Search Tags:Religion, Canada's, Approach, Multiculturalism, Freedom, Rights-based
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