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Islamic Divorce in North AmericaA Shari’a Path in a Secular Society$
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Julie Macfarlane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753918.001.0001

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Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Chapter:
(p.240) 9 Looking Forward
Source:
Islamic Divorce in North America
Author(s):

Julie Macfarlane

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753918.003.0009

As the nature of religious practice changes, so does the meaning of secularism. This study reflects the private character of faith for many respondents who were not traditionally observant and in many ways were living very “secular” lives. Nonetheless, Islam remained a critical structure for how they understood their rights and duties in relation to the family, and acted as a frame for their familiar values and customs. This chapter sets out some of the possible legal-political solutions to the question of how far secular states should accommodate and recognize Islamic processes, and considers how the study data relates to each of these models. It concludes with a statement of future challenges for Muslim communities as they continue to practise Islamic marriage and divorce, many of which are already recognized by their leaders. How these challenges are met will be critical to the future of a private Islamic family dispute resolution system, representing the core of a future North American shari’a.

Keywords:   religious practice, secularism, accommodation, multi-culturalism, marketplace models, parallel legal system, North American shari’a

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