From 2008-2012 Julie conducted research with Muslim communities in Canada and the US (see Islamic Divorce in North America) exploring the meaning of “shari’a” in their everyday lives and especially their family traditions and religious beliefs.
At the beginning of this process, Julie knew literally nothing about Islam having been raised in a singular (Christian) religious culture and educational system. Her journey on this research – mentored by scholars and community leaders in many Muslim communities – opened her eyes to the extent of misperceptions of Muslim choices, whether cultural or religious, and the paranoia that surrounds what many in the West misunderstand by “shari’a”. This has led to her writing for the public and speaking frequently with media about Islamophobia and inaccurate and harmful stereotypes of Canadian Muslims.
Julie continues her associations with progressive Muslim organizations – for example, she sits on the Board of Canadian Muslim Votes and she is an ISPU Scholar. She also works to support Muslim scholars in research and writing in different parts of the world.