The Everyday Life of Religious Difference: Governing Religion in Quebec

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Barras, Amélie
Law; Religion Law
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In 2007 during a public audience of the Bouchard-Taylor commission, Gerard Bouchard, one of the commissioners, asked a Moroccan association, whether and how frequently they asked for religious accommodations. His question is a good illustration of how religious minorities, and in particular Muslims, in and outside Quebec, are increasingly imagined as making requests for religious accommodations. What is the impact of this discourse of request on how we think about religion and religious pluralism? This talk discusses how this discourse carries expectations regarding the forms Islam takes in Canada, as well as how Muslims should act and perform their faith. Focusing on Quebec, it explores to what extent this discourse reflects and influences the everyday experience of devout Muslims. Ultimately, the talk argues that this discourse overlooks the complexity of how they work out, with themselves and with others, their religious practices and commitments.