Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Linguistics, Applied

First Advisor

Lilia I. Bartolomé

Second Advisor

Donaldo Macedo

Third Advisor

Tim Sieber


This thesis presents a study of U.S. Northeastern Muslim women sharing their stories and rationales for donning the veil. Muslim women in general and veiled ones in particular, are one of the most stereotyped populations in the West and the act of donning the veil is considered one of the most controversial decisions.

Despite the fact that research has been done on Muslim veiled women , very few out of such studies actually involved the voices of the Muslim veiled women themselves (e.g., Bullock, 2003; Croucher, 2006; van Nieuwkerk, 2006; and Haddad, Smith and Moore, 2006). These authors address the persistent stereotypes that revolve around oppression and violence toward Muslim women. They have taken their views a step further by talking to Muslim women and giving them a chance to be heard.

Therefore, given the limited research on the matter, this thesis investigates the subject of how Muslim veiled women made their decision of donning the veil, how they want to be viewed and heard, and what information they would like to share about themselves.

During the process of data analysis, three "Frequently Occurring Themes" naturally emerged. These three main themes, I titled: (1) Perception of Al hijab, (2) Discrimination against Muslims and Al hijab, and (3) Male Role and Al hijab.

It is my hope that my findings can possibly provide much needed information about Muslim women in general and veiled Muslim women in particular, that would help educators better understand this often misunderstood group. Such information can potentially impact the way both teachers and students view Muslim students in general and veiled female Muslim students in particular. In addition, new knowledge gained about Muslims could be incorporated into multicultural education curricula and culturally responsive pedagogy, which in turn may be used in the field of teacher education to better prepare teachers to work with culturally diverse student bodies.


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