Managing Spoiled Identity

The Case of Polish Female Converts to Islam


This is the first systematic study of Polish women's conversion to Islam in English. Through interviews with Polish female converts to Islam and ethnographic observation, we learn about their journey to Islam in a country where Muslims constitute less than 0,5% of the population and experience daily struggles related to maintaining their national and religious identities sometimes considered to be spoiled. The analysis presented in the book illuminates different factors that shape the converts' religious lives: attempts to establish "Polish Islam" with its unique cultural flavor; a new hybrid language that includes Polish, English and Arabic elements; intersectional identities as women, Muslims, Poles, and Eastern European immigrants among those who live outside of Poland. This study offers a fascinating window into the lives of Muslims in a sociopolitical context that is considered to be on the margins of the "Muslim world."

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Beata Abdallah-Krzepkowska, Ph.D. (2007), University of Silesia, is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Silesia. She has published articles on Islam and the religious language used by Polish Muslims.

Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska, PhD (2007), SGH Warsaw School of Economics, habilitation (2015), Jagiellonian University, is Associate Professor at SGH Warsaw School of Economics. She has published on Islam in Poland and implemented research and educational projects funded by the European Commission, UNESCO, or the Polish MFA.

Joanna Krotofil, Ph.D. (2012), Jagiellonian University, is Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Studies of Religion, Jagiellonian University. She has published a number of articles on conversion to Islam and the relationship between religion and identity.

Anna Piela, Ph.D. (2010), Northwestern University, is Visiting Scholar of Islam and gender at that university. She has published monographs and many articles on Islam and gender, including Wearing the Niqab: Muslim Women in the UK and the US (Bloomsbury, 2021).
List of Figures
Notes on Authors


1 Setting the Scene: Islam in Poland
2 The Socio-Demographic Profile of Survey Respondents
3 Old and New Connections: Religious and Cultural Belonging Post-conversion among Polish Female Converts to Islam in the UK
4 Polish Platonic Islamophobia
5 Language of Polish Female Converts to Islam
6 Converted Bodies: Interior Life and Embodied Religious Practices of Polish Female Converts to Islam
7 From a ‘Salafi Bite’ to the ‘Middle Way’


Scholars of contemporary Islam, scholars of religious conversion and religious studies more broadly, scholars of Eastern Europe; postgraduate students in these fields; university libraries.
  • Collapse
  • Expand