Muslim Women in Britain

De-Mystifying the Muslimah

By Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor

© 2012 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138802513
pub: 2014-05-30
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415669962
pub: 2012-07-03
US Dollars$145.00

Look Inside

About the Book

Perceptions of Muslim women in Western society have been shaped by historical and sociological conditions such as colonialism, patriarchy and Orientalism. In Muslim Women in Britain, Sariya Contractor seeks to reinstate the Muslimah as a storyteller who tells her own story.

An exploration of the lives of British Muslim women, this book examines issues of femininity, Britishness, inter-communal relations and social cohesion. Presenting the reader with incisive narratives of Muslim women on familiar topics such as the hijab, Muslim women in the media and feminist debate, particularly in a Western context, Sariya Contractor makes a valuable contribution to the existing literature on Islamic studies, social anthropology, feminist philosophy and social cohesion.

Presenting a complex and nuanced retelling of Muslim women’s realities as explored through their own voices, stories and experiences; this book will be of interest to scholars and students of Islamic studies, Women’s studies, Social Anthropology and Sociology seeking a fresh perspective on Muslim women in Britain.


'The book is outstanding. It is theoretically and methodologically robust, and also written in a clear voice that will be accessible to undergrads as well as the literate public. Given the strength of the edifice of mystification, it remains to be seen how much can actually be chipped off.' - Katherine Bullock, Journal of International Women's Studies, 14(3), 324-325 (2013).

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Giving Voice 1. The Historicity of Modern Stereotypes 2. Working with Muslims (Women): Methodological Possibilities Part II: Taking Voice 3. Islam versus Muslim Culture: The Muslim Woman's voice 4. “Ain’t I a Woman?”: 'Constructing' Muslim Women 5. Women’s Narratives of the Hijab 6. Islamic Feminisms 7. Metaphors, Muslim Women and 'the Media' Part III: Hearing Voice 8. Challenging 'Muslim Women' Stereotypes: "She’s Just Like My Friend Bess" 9. Feminine Universality? Muslim Sisters in the Sisterhood 10. Muslim Women in pluralist Britain: Dialogue, Understanding and Shared Britishness. Summary and Conclusion

About the Author

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is a convert to Islam and a Sociologist at the University of Derby, specialising in the Sociology of Religion.

About the Series

Islamic Studies Series

This broad ranging series includes books on Islamic issues from all parts of the globe and is not simply confined to the Middle East.



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies