Hijab in the Western Workplace: Exploring Islamic Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Discrimination
Fatima Koura M.A.

This study explores the experiences and the effects of employment discrimination on Muslim American women who don the hijab. I will explore issues dealing with realities when one expresses a religious identity in the workplace. For Muslim American women, discrimination is particularly challenging because of the various forms of oppressions experienced. Social experiences are based on a person’s gender, race, and religious identities. Conducting a series of interviews this study will provide accounts of women who have been victims of discrimination and the effects on their mental health. Exploring ways in which Muslim women perceive their spiritual selves within a marginalized society, the participants in this research emphasize the importance of utilizing Islamic coping strategies. Specifically, I will illustrate examples of how the interviewees cope using Islamic spirituality or forms of worship. I will look into the role of psychotherapeutic techniques or other methods of healing oneself. According to my interviews, Muslim women are not passive recipients of discrimination and reflect on various methods of psycho-spiritual resistance. Particularly important Muslim women in this research find that faith-based coping generate positive definitions of self- valuation. This chapter provides research into the importance of self-identification within the framework of discrimination and ways in which Islamic coping strategies provide healing.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jpbs.v4n2a7