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Is Islamic Feminism affecting Muslim Feminists’ practices, and if, how it affects?
Islamic feminism developed around the head-scarf ban after the 1980 Turkish coup and after the 1997 Turkish military memorandum. In the late 2000s, women from different segments articulated within the feminist movement due to increasing violence against women and creating discourses on women in politics by ministers and top officials. (Budak, 2018) In the third wave of feminism through Turkey context, which started in the late 1990s and lasted to the present, women from different segments engaged in the feminist movement, and therefore different feminisms emerged.
In this matter, Muslim women have become manifest themselves in the feminist movement. In addition to Islamic feminism’s controversial position due to the conflicts between Islam and feminism within the feminist movement, its supporters are in parallel with the growth of the movement. The emphasized individuality and diversity discourses in 3rd wave feminism are much-debated in terms of Islamic feminism. My aim is not to find the concluding answer to these debates, but to work with Muslim women who are the subject of the movement, to understand how they experience Islam and feminism together, to open the way for further studies.
I will do my research in Istanbul, Turkey. I’ll contact “Yalnız Yürümeyeceksin Platformu,” “Kadına Şiddete Karşı Müslümanlar İnisiyatifi (KŞKMİ),” “Ayrımcılığa Karşı Kadın Hakları Derneği (AKDER)” that Istanbul-based Muslim women organizations and ‘recel-blog.com’ is a blog page that also Muslim women have established and executed.
Founders and/or members in these organizations will be a gatekeeper to access people who are a part of the organization and who are eligible to participate as a participant in the research. I will identify who define themselves as ‘Muslim’ and ‘feminist’ among the founders, members, writers, etc. which are part of these organizations. Thus, the main participants will be determined.
I will conduct my research with 5 participants from each formation. I’m planning to work with 20 people in total, but I can increase the number of people who I’m working with if I think the research has not been satisfied.
I’ll try to understand within in-depth interviews how they shape their religion and religious practices from a feminist perspective. I will record as a sound the in-depth interviews with the participants whose consent I have received to extract transcripts. I’ll execute in-depth interviews according to the requests of the participants to be in their comfort areas such as organizations that they are part of or their homes. Questions in in-depth interviews will be open-ended and focused on how they perform religious practices and how they engaged their feminist ideology with the Islamic belief.
In addition to conducting in-depth interviews with the participants, I will also be a participant observer. I will spend time with each people who I’m working with as a participant observer for at least one week throughout the research period. I’ll do an overt observation. As a participant observer, I will go with them in places where they perform their religious practices such as mosques, mausoleums, or zawiyas and if needed, dress as required by their practice such as hijab that is some kind of headscarf. If participants perform their religious practices at home rather than in a worshiping place outside the home, I will be a guest to observing and practicing for a week to the houses of the participants who give consent. During the participant observation period, I will seek to interpret the data I get from in-depth interviews, examine nonverbal behaviors, and examine how they interact within the social relations through with their beliefs and/or ideologies. The research will last for 26 months according to all of my plans, such as conducting preliminary research, conducting in-depth interviews, transcribing in-depth interviews, extracting field notes and identifying findings.
In research, I will not include any personal information of the people who I’m working with, so I will change the information that will reveal their identity to avoid endangering. The participants will be informed about each stage of the study, and their informed consent will be received. Participants will have the right to withdraw at any point in the research. Throughout the study, the participants not to be labeled based on their religious or ideological beliefs or any other reason. Under no circumstances will an offensive, discriminatory, or biased language be used. The behaviors, verbal or non-verbal expressions of the participants will be avoided to judging. I’ll be careful to not lead through my own beliefs and/or ideas. The relationship between the researcher and the participants will be at a professional level so as not to affect the progression of the research.
Regardless of my religion, I define myself as a feminist and I’ll work with other women who define themselves as feminists. I believe that we will meet at the common denominator on the experience of womanhood, and share similarities at many points, from the everyday life practices to our overall position in life. I think it would be simpler for women who I’m working with to establish a bond and be able to communicate more easily with me. In this way, they may be more open and clear during the research. The fact that I do this research, although I try to be objective, the effects of my self-reflexivity can be felt at every stage of the study, from my choice of subject to my analysis of the data I have obtained.
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