The Construction of Authentic Muslim Identity among Nationally Diverse Women: The Case of an Arab Woman

Burcu Gokgoz-Kurt


This paper examines religious and ethnic identity construction among nationally diverse Muslim women, and shows how Muslim women may reflect asymmetrical power relations regarding their religiousness. While Muslims are usually treated as one homogenous community by those who are not very familiar with the Muslim communities, within the Islamic world, in fact, some Muslim-majority countries may be more strongly associated with Islam than others. Drawing on data gathered through spontaneous conversations, and informal, unstructured interviews during a gathering of four Muslim women, the present study reveals how one Muslim woman belonging to the Arab world authenticates herself in the presence of non-Arab Muslims through her discourse. Several factors such as economic wealth, heritage, politics, and language seem to help her claim “genuine” membership of Islam. 


Arab, authentication, authenticity, discourse, Muslims, religion, Muslim women

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