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Societies 2018, 8(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8040123 (registering DOI)

The Dutch inside the ‘Moslima’ and the ‘Moslima’ inside the Dutch: Processing the Religious Experience of Muslim Women in The Netherlands

1
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
2
Graduate School of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 2 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Islam)
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Abstract

This research focuses on Dutch Muslim women who chose to practice Islam, whether they were born Muslim (‘Newly Practicing Muslims’) or they chose to convert (‘New Muslims’). This study takes place in a context, the Netherlands, where Islam is popularly considered by the native Dutch population, as a religion oppressive to women. How do these Dutch Muslim women build their identity in a way that it is both Dutch and Muslim? Do they mix Dutch parameters in their Muslim identity, while at the same time, inter-splicing Islamic principles in their Dutch sense of self? This study is based on an ethnography conducted in the city of Amsterdam from September to October 2009, which combines insights taken from in-depth interviews with Dutch Muslim women, observations from Quranic and Religious classes, observations in a mosque, and one-time events occurring during the month of Ramadan. This paper argues that, in the context of being Dutch and Muslim, women express their agency, which is their ability to choose and act in social action: they push the limits of archetypal Dutch identity while simultaneously stretching the meaning of Islam to craft their own identity, one that is influenced by themes of immigration, belongingness, religious knowledge, higher education and gender. View Full-Text
Keywords: Islam; Dutch Islam; religion in Europe; agency; women in conservative religions; religious conversion; identity; politics of belonging; culture; immigration; women in Islam Islam; Dutch Islam; religion in Europe; agency; women in conservative religions; religious conversion; identity; politics of belonging; culture; immigration; women in Islam
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hass, B.; Lutek, H. The Dutch inside the ‘Moslima’ and the ‘Moslima’ inside the Dutch: Processing the Religious Experience of Muslim Women in The Netherlands. Societies 2018, 8, 123.

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