MENA Dubai 2003 Abstract
||Much research has been done on how/if Muslim immigrants are integrated into Western societies. To my knowledge, little research has been done on how/if Western culture has been integrated in Muslim countries.
Employing a mainly qualitative method, the specific purpose of this research proposal is to determine if young Muslim women from different cultural backgrounds (100 women, age 17–20 from each of these countries: Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Kuwait) welcome, accept or reject the western influences that are part of their society and if they are advocating a more traditional or modern interpretation of the Qu'ran. The participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire composed of open and closed-choice questions. Literature that covers such subject matters and fields as sociology, Islam, divergent approaches of Islamic feminism, Westernization and globalization as well as other closely allied fields will be used to analyze the results.
The results of my research show that the Muslim women participants wish to keep some of their traditional customs and leave others behind. Most women wished to increase their ability to make independent decisions at home, which was something they didn't feel they could do at the moment. A majority also thought that women should be able to have highly influential jobs such as managers, ministers, etc, which is a wish that juxtaposes with the trends in society. Trends in society show that an increasing number of women are entering the professional field as well as acquiring jobs of influence and authority. Almost all women wanted to keep the practice of wearing a veil. Questions regarding western influences received answers of a mainly negative character. When asked about how they felt about Western influences in the future most women answered "afraid" or "angry". Only a few answered "happy". The question about "which culture shows the most respect towards women" was almost unanimously answered with "Islam".