Assalam u Alaikum. Brother I have a Right to My Opinion on This’: British Islamic Women Assert Their Positions in Virtual Space

  • Fazila Bhimji

Abstract

This chapter explores linguistic practices of second- and third-generation young Muslim women in a specific context: an Islamic on-line community based in Britain. This particular chapter is part of a larger ongoing study of British Islamic women’s identities in multiple spheres such as Islamic study circles, Islamic Magazines, Public Speech and Television Documentaries. This study examines particular linguistic practices of Muslim women who participate in discussion threads along with Muslim young men. The study will demonstrate that these young women argue and debate with other on-line participants, contest main-stream notions and depictions of Islam, and display their knowledge during on-line discussions. In doing so the study aims to contribute to the theoretical discussions on language and gender, where gendered identities are conceptualized in ways that do not always set women apart from men. Furthermore, the study shows that even women who express themselves in Islamic ways can have varied identities such that they can be religiously inclined and assertive in the same instance. Additionally this chapter focuses on commonsense understandings of Muslim women as passive, subordinate and having limited access to knowledge.

Keywords

Filtration Coherence Syria Turkey Smoke 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bucholtz, M. (1999). Bad examples: Transgression and progress in language and gender studies. In: M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (Eds), Reinventing identities: The gendered self in discourse. New York: Oxford University Press. (pp. 3–24).Google Scholar
  2. Bullock, K. (2003). Rethinking Muslim women and the veil: Challenging historical and modern stereotypes. London: The International Institute of Islamic Thought.Google Scholar
  3. Goodwin, M. H. (1990). He-said-she-said: Talk as social organization among black children. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Goodwin, M. H. (1999). Constructing opposition within girls’ games. In: M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (Eds), Reinventing identities: The gendered self in discourse. New York: Oxford University Press. (pp. 388–409).Google Scholar
  5. Herring, S. C. (1993). Gender and democracy in computer-mediated communication. In: Electronic Journal of Communication 3(2).Google Scholar
  6. Herring, S. C. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Holmes, J., and M. Meyerhoff (2003) (Eds), The handbook of language and gender. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  8. Kamalkhani, Z. (1998). Reconstruction of Islamic knowledge and knowing: A case of Islamic practices among women in Iran. In: K. Ask and M. Tjomsland (Eds), Women and Islamization: Contemporary dimensions of gender relations. New York: Berg (pp. 177–93).Google Scholar
  9. Khan, S. (2002). Aversion and desire: Negotiating Muslim female identity in the diaspora. Canada: Women’s Press.Google Scholar
  10. Mahrnood, S. (2003). Ethical formation and politics of individual autonomy in contemporary Egypt. In: Social Research 70(3).Google Scholar
  11. Mendoza-Denton, N. (1999). Turn-initial no: Collaborative opposition among Latina adolescents. In: M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (Eds), Reinventing identities: The gendered self in discourse. New York: Oxford University Press (pp. 273–92).Google Scholar
  12. Orellana, M. F. (1999). Good guys and ‘bad’ girls: Identity construction by Latina and Latino student writers. In: M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (Eds), Reinventing identities: The gendered self in discourse. New York: Oxford University Press (pp. 64–81).Google Scholar
  13. Panyametheekul, S., and Herring, S. (2003). Gender and turn allocation in a Thai chat room. Journal of Computer-mediated Communication 9(1). Retrieved 25 February 2004 from: http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vo1l9/issuel/panya_herring.htmlGoogle Scholar
  14. Raudvere, C. (1998). Female dervishes in contemporary Istanbul: Between tradition and modernity. In: K. Ask and M. Tjomsland (Eds), Women and Islamization: Contemporary dimensions of gender relations. New York: Berg (pp. 125–43).Google Scholar
  15. Werbner, P. (2002). Imagined diasporas among Manchester Muslims: The public performance of Pakistani transnational identity politics. Oxford: James Curry.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Fazila Bhimji 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fazila Bhimji

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations