- To be a true Muslim: online discussions on the headscarf among Moroccan-Dutch women
- Gender, Place and Culture
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The headscarf (hijab) and its relation to Muslim identity and gender relations within Islam is a major topic of contention for Muslim women living in Western Europe. One aspect of this is that they have to present an acceptable religious identity vis-a`-vis other Muslims. The present study uses membership categorization analysis to examine the membership categories and category-bound attributes used in Internet forum discussions on the headscarf among Moroccan-Dutch women. The analysis shows how the category of ‘true’ Muslim is linked to wearing the headscarf out of religious submission. Women who did not wear the headscarf produced accounts that emphasized personal conviction and religious engagement as additional defining attributes of a ‘true’ Muslim, or emphasized other activities or predicates as being critical for a Muslim female identity. With these accounts, these women negotiated the normative religious context on which categorization practices with fellow believers are based.
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