“I don’t have a bomb:” A Journey through Muslim Female Students’ Everyday Life in the United States

Authors: Hanieh Haji Molana*, California State University, Sacramento, Sarah Rose Beechboard, Kent State University
Topics: Feminist Geographies, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Muslim women, Islamic feminism, perception of hijab, religious identity, university campus
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 43
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The institutional and individual discrimination toward Muslims, especially women with the hijab, have dramatically increased over the past few decades. By conducting semi-structured interviews with fourteen Muslim female students at one of the Midwest university campuses, we aimed to uncover the ways in which they have experienced any harassment or misconduct toward their religious identity. We employed Islamic feminism as a framework to depict their everyday lives. By coding the transcripts, we were able to identify common themes. These themes reflect the ways in which the experiences of veiled Muslim female students are affected by their intersectional identities. This makes our findings relevant both for the evaluation of university campuses in general and for the education of non-Muslim Americans. In today’s Islamophobic climate, there is a lack of representation of Muslims, especially Muslim women, in academic scholarship; this paper was written to help fill that gap by amplifying their voices.

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