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Muslim Reformists, Female Citizenship and the Public Accommodation of Islam in Liberal Democracy

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Muslim Reformists, Female Citizenship and the Public Accommodation of Islam in Liberal Democracy (PDF)
Source: University of Toronto Faculty of Law

The European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”), in a trilogy of cases involving Muslim claimants, has granted state parties to the European Convention on Human Rights a wide margin of appreciation with respect to the regulation of public manifestations of Islam. The ECHR has justified its decisions in these cases on the grounds that Islamic symbols, such as the hijāb, or Muslim commitments to the shari‘a – Islamic law – are inconsistent with the democratic order of Europe. This article raises the question of what kinds of commitments to gender equality and democratic decision-making are sufficient for a democratic order, and whether modernist Islamic teachings manifest a satisfactory normative commitment in this regard. It uses the arguments of two modern Muslim reformist scholars – Yūsuf al-QaraÃāwī and ‘Abd al-Íalīm Abū Shuqqa – as evidence to argue that if the relevant degree of commitment to gender equality is understood from the perspective political rather than comprehensive liberalism, doctrines such as those elaborated by these two religious scholars evidence sufficient commitment to the value of political equality between men and women. This makes less plausible the ECHR’s arguments justifying different treatment of Muslims on account of alleged Islamic commitments to gender hierarchy. It also argues that in light of Muslim modernist conceptions of the shari‘a, there is no normative justification to conclude that faithfulness to the shari‘a entails a categorical rejection of democracy as the ECHR suggested.

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Speed

April 25, 2013 Comments off

Speed (PDF)

Source: University of Toronto

We investigate the determinants of driving speed in large us cities. We first estimate city level supply functions for travel in an econometric framework where both the supply and demand for travel are explicit. These estimations allow us to calculate a city level index of driving speed and to rank cities by driving speed. Our investigation of the determinants of speed provide the foundations for a welfare analysis. This analysis suggests that large gains in speed may be possible if slow cities can emulate fast cities and that the deadweight losses from congestion are sizeable.

See: A Need for Speed: Why Building More Roads Won’t Conquer Gridlock (Knowledge@Wharton)

CA — Middle Income Access to Civil Justice Initiative: Background Paper

March 21, 2011 Comments off

Middle Income Access to Civil Justice Initiative: Background Paper (PDF)
Source: University of Toronto Faculty of Law

The purpose of this background paper is to provide a general overview of the issue of access to the civil justice system by middle-income earners. Broadly speaking, our goal is to identify the most acute, unmet civil legal needs in the province for middle-income Ontarians across different key areas of law, and to explore a range of existing and possible solutions to these problems. Our current efforts are focusing on the problem as it exists in Ontario, but many of the themes and issues we raise apply to the rest of the country, and indeed to many other developed countries. The paper will be used as a starting point for broader policy discussions and ideas.

Hat tip: Library Boy

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