Online Islamic Spaces as Communities of Practice for Female Muslim Converts Who Wear the Niqab

Anna Piela

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article focuses on online narratives of female converts to Islam who wear or plan to wear the niqab. There is little discussion in research literature about motivations leading to adoption of the niqab or experiences of women who wear it. Instead, the discourse on niqab has been sensationalised by tabloid media which construct it as a symbol of otherness and separation from the host culture and, recently, one of radicalisation. This begs the question: why are some converts drawn to it despite negative reactions to the niqab by some Muslims and non-Muslims. Here, I examine online discussions in which converted women argue why they wish to wear the niqab, often in contradiction to other Muslims’ views. I draw from Rambo’s conversion model (1993) and Lave and Wenger’s concept of communities of practice to illuminate the process whereby participants learn about Islam and the niqab through social interaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-382
    Number of pages20
    JournalHawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World
    Volume13
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

    Keywords

    • niqab
    • gender
    • online forums
    • internet
    • conversion

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