Muslim Women and Cosmopolitanism: Reconciling the Fragments of Identity, Participation and Belonging

  • Nuraan DavidsEmail author


Understanding Muslim women necessitates an understanding of what it is that gives meaning and form to how Muslim women construct and live their identities. And understanding the meaning and form of identity construction amongst Muslim women dictates an analysis of the type of Islamic education which these women are exposed to. Underscoring this chapter is my contention that the intent to understand Muslim women’s education and the rationales of their educational context and practice opens itself to a plurality of interpretations, which in itself would be a reflection of the pluralism of understanding of the practices of Islām. By examining three specifically identified images of identity construction amongst six Muslim women – Domesticity and Patriarchy; Identity, Belonging and Hijāb (head-scarf); and Public/Private Participation – I will explore how these women, through their respective relationships, and varied interpretations of Islam, offer a renewed understanding of what could be a contribution to cosmopolitan society. Leading from this, I will show how a cosmopolitan society ought to contribute to, and draw from these multiple identities. And lastly, by looking at the contributions from both Muslim women and cosmopolitanism, I will discuss the implications for Islamic education.


Belonging Cosmopolitanism Domesticity Hijāb Identity construction Individualisation Islamic education Knowledge Madrassah Muslim women Multiple interpretations Patriarchy Pluralist society Public/private participation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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