A Feminist Fight For Faith: How Muslim Women Reclaim Islam In The West
My dissertation examines the emergence of gender justice activism among secondgeneration Muslim women in Britain and the United States. This research focuses on activists who attempt to reclaim Islam's 'original egalitarian spirit,' a position they argue revolutionized women's status in the seventh century. Despite differences between the Muslim populations in both of these countries, I argue that similar gender justice campaigns reveal the significant roles that both gender and generation play in forming political identities. The dissertation offers a typological theory of gender justice claims, categorized according to two dimensions: targets and frames. Targets are classified according to whether they are representative claims in the public sphere or reinterpretive claims in the private sphere. Frames differentiate between claims that seek short-term fixes to inequitable outcomes and those that fight structural causes of inequality. Through a combination of original interview data with Muslim women activists in both countries and content analysis of media constructions of the Muslim identity, I argue that second-generation Muslim women activists in both Britain and the U.S. construct a new Muslim political identity for the multicultural political project--a new egalitarian Muslim identity based on the idea that Islam promotes and protects women's rights.
Feminism; Islam; Immigration
Katzenstein, Mary Fainsod; Tarrow, Sidney G
Ph.D. of Government
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis