The identity of South African Muslim - women: the modern Muslim woman

Boomberg, Raheemah
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There are withstanding stereotypes about the realities of Muslim women, as neat categories, plastered on to Muslim women across the world. These inadequate representations of Muslim women’s actualities stem from political images, provided by international media relating to Middle Eastern women. Not to say that some Muslim women are subjugated by patriarchy, the actual lives of many Muslim women in other states such as South Africa are different. Hence, this research study aims to better understand the identity of Muslim women in relation to broad socio-cultural systems, Islamic ideals and secular lifestyles. Conducting ethnographic, qualitative analysis within the discipline of Anthropology, the focus of this study pertained to a group of Muslim women found in a middle-upper class suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Ultimately Muslim women themselves deconstruct stereotypical ideas of what it means to be Muslim in secular society. Instead of resisting Islamic ideals, even though accustomed to modern society, Muslim women embrace these ideals and mediate how they identify themselves as well as the ways in which they, as modern Muslim women, express their identity to society. Muslim women are seen as selfdeterminants rather than inactive participants of modern Muslim communities