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Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Gendering Islam through Migration experience: Egyptian women's gatherings in a mosque of Turin (Italy)  
Laura Ferrero (University of Turin)

Paper short abstract:

Describing the activities that Egyptian women organized in a mosque in the city of Turin (Italy), my paper brings insights on the debate about everyday Islam, about the multiple meanings of being a Muslim woman in a Western society and about how religious practices change through migration process.

Paper long abstract:

A big part of the Muslim population is now living in non-Muslim countries. Since studies in the countries of origin have underlined the differences in the religious life of men and women (Fernea et al., 1972; MacLeod, 1991; Mahmood, 2004), I argue that is also necessary to gendering the religious practices in the arrival countries. In order to do so, I describe the activities that two groups of Egyptian women organized in a mosque in the city of Turin (Italy) in the period in which I carried out my participant observation (2011-2013). The value of the gatherings in the mosques in migration context goes beyond the religious and spiritual aspect, and includes social and a cultural meanings. Women involved in the mosque were mostly organizing activities for them and for their children; describing those activities I want to show how their way to gathering in a local mosque brings insight to a wider debate about everyday Islam and about the multiple meaning of being Muslim in a western society. I consider their activities both as a way to accomplish Islamic duties and as a form of agency, that requires to be read beyond the dichotomy "modern vs. traditional". Differently from what is often done in the literature about everyday Islam, I do not read those practices in opposition with the textual norm, but rather in relation with the religious practices in the country of origin.

Panel P094
Gendering 'everyday Islam'
  Session 1