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Can traditional religions co-exist with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Recently, a student at York University asked, on religious grounds, to be excused from a study session that would include women. Plus, when religions clash with something else: Downward dog? In Malaysia and Iran, instructors are dialling down the spiritual component of yoga so that it’s in sync with the laws of land.
We called up two lawyers to discuss the York University situation and to a few other heated cases. Natasha Bhakt is an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in the intersecting area of religious freedom and women’s equality. Sukanya Pillay is the Acting Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.