MUSLIM WOMEN IDENTITIES AND EXPERIENCES IN CONTEMPORARY MUSLIM FICTION IN ENGLISH: A STUDY OF MOHJA KAHFI’S THE GIRL IN THE TANGERINE SCARF
This paper adopts post positivist realist approach to reading Mohja Kahf’s The girl in the tangerine scarf with a view to foreground the lives and religious identities of Muslim women who are neither victims nor escapees of Islam but willingly committed to their faith. The paper explains how the text can be read as writing back to the often monolithic representations of Islam and Muslim women characteristics of mainstream Western texts. The work draws attention to the ways in which particular narrative techniques highlight the complexities of Muslim women’s religious identities and experiences. This study therefore highlights the tensions and contradictions of women’s Muslim identities in Western countries and addresses Western people’s interests and prejudices in their encounter with Muslim women. Finally, given that various aspects of Muslim women's identities and experiences are typically elided in dominant representations, it is argued that a disruption of the stereotypes of Muslim women signals the potential for the compatibility of Muslim women's distinct identities with Western values.