Muslim Women in Britain
De-Mystifying the Muslimah
Routledge – 2012 – 224 pages
Series: Islamic Studies Series
Perceptions of Muslim women in Western society have been shaped by historical and sociological conditions such as colonialism, patriarchy and Orientalism. In Muslim Women in Britain, Sariya Contractor seeks to reinstate the Muslimah as a storyteller who tells her own story.
An exploration of the lives of British Muslim women, this book examines issues of femininity, Britishness, inter-communal relations and social cohesion. Presenting the reader with incisive narratives of Muslim women on familiar topics such as the hijab, Muslim women in the media and feminist debate, particularly in a Western context, Sariya Contractor makes a valuable contribution to the existing literature on Islamic studies, social anthropology, feminist philosophy and social cohesion.
Presenting a complex and nuanced retelling of Muslim women’s realities as explored through their own voices, stories and experiences; this book will be of interest to scholars and students of Islamic studies, Women’s studies, Social Anthropology and Sociology seeking a fresh perspective on Muslim women in Britain.
'The book is outstanding. It is theoretically and methodologically robust, and also written in a clear voice that will be accessible to undergrads as well as the literate public. Given the strength of the edifice of mystification, it remains to be seen how much can actually be chipped off.' - Katherine Bullock, Journal of International Women's Studies, 14(3), 324-325 (2013).
Introduction Part I: Giving Voice 1. The Historicity of Modern Stereotypes 2. Working with Muslims (Women): Methodological Possibilities Part II: Taking Voice 3. Islam versus Muslim Culture: The Muslim Woman's voice 4. “Ain’t I a Woman?”: 'Constructing' Muslim Women 5. Women’s Narratives of the Hijab 6. Islamic Feminisms 7. Metaphors, Muslim Women and 'the Media' Part III: Hearing Voice 8. Challenging 'Muslim Women' Stereotypes: "She’s Just Like My Friend Bess" 9. Feminine Universality? Muslim Sisters in the Sisterhood 10. Muslim Women in pluralist Britain: Dialogue, Understanding and Shared Britishness. Summary and Conclusion
Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is a convert to Islam and a Sociologist at the University of Derby, specialising in the Sociology of Religion.