Chapter 6 Rethinking Re-Islamization: On Muslims and Gender in Spain

In: Observing Islam in Spain
Authors:
Ángeles Ramírez
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Laura Mijares
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This chapter analyses the results of a research project (2011–15) on the relationship between gender and Islam in Madrid (Spain). It examines the presence of Islam in male-female relationships based on an analysis of the discourse in four discussion groups, all supported by extensive prior ethnographic experience. One of the project’s objectives was to identify the processes of re-Islamization in Spain, on par with what the literature has shown for the rest of Europe. According to our data, it cannot be said that a similar situation is developing in Madrid. The results of our analysis show that, while the idea of living Islamically is identified as a model for Muslims, what truly determines relationships between Islam and gender are social positions. For Muslims in privileged positions, Islam becomes a social resource for both men and women. However, further down the social scale, while Muslim men also use Islam as capital in domestic and social bargaining, the same cannot be said of the women in this group. For them, Islam does not have this value and is identified, among other things, as part of the structure of domination in which they are the weak element.

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