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  • Author or Editor: Anna Piela x
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This article focuses on online narratives of female converts to Islam who wear or plan to wear the niqab. There is little discussion in research literature about motivations leading to adoption of the niqab or experiences of women who wear it. Instead, the discourse on niqab has been sensationalised by tabloid media which construct it as a symbol of otherness and separation from the host culture and, recently, one of radicalisation. This begs the question: why are some converts drawn to it despite negative reactions to the niqab by some Muslims and non-Muslims. Here, I examine online discussions in which converted women argue why they wish to wear the niqab, often in contradiction to other Muslims’ views. I draw from Rambo’s conversion model () and Lave and Wenger’s concept of communities of practice to illuminate the process whereby participants learn about Islam and the niqab through social interaction.

In: Hawwa
In: Hawwa
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."