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Reading: "Mothering through Islam": Narratives of Religious Identity in London

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"Mothering through Islam": Narratives of Religious Identity in London

Authors:

Louise Ryan ,

Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University, GB
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Elena Vacchelli

Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University, GB
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Abstract

This paper draws upon research with mothers of diverse Muslim backgroundsin London to explore how these women use ‘conservative’ interpretations ofIslamic beliefs and practices to underpin their parenting strategies. In particularthe paper looks at how mothers use religion as a frame to make sense of andgive meaning to their experiences and encounters in Britain. We suggest thatthe women use Islam in four key ways: (i) as a framework for teaching theirchildren right and wrong, (ii) as a means of protecting children from the ‘moral’dangers of British society, (iii) as an authoritative voice that reinforces parentingand (iv) as a means of critiquing specific aspects of both the traditional andBritish culture in which they live and daily negotiate their different cultural andreligious belonging. In attempting to instil religious values in their London-basedchildren, these mothers have to negotiate the hostility that Islam increasinglyprovokes in British society’s public arenas.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.8421
How to Cite: Ryan, L. & Vacchelli, E., (2013). "Mothering through Islam": Narratives of Religious Identity in London. Religion and Gender. 3(1), pp.90–107. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.8421
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Published on 13 Apr 2013.
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