Dissertation

HOW DO FEMALE MUSLIM COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO MAINTAIN THEIR ISLAMIC IDENTITY RECEIVE SUPPORT?: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine and understand how female Muslim college students who choose to embrace their Islamic identity while in college receive support. The data for this qualitative research study has been collected through interviews from nine Muslim women attending universities in the Western United States. All students were undergraduates. They each maintained Islamic identity, which entailed wearing a hijab and modestly covering all their bodies except for hands and face. The results of this study indicated that Muslim students do feel supported in their schools, particularly by their peers, the faculty, and administrators in their diverse academic settings. This study also identified areas where Muslim female students who maintain their Islamic identities could be further supported. The data suggested that there is a need for a place for students to pray and that a meditation room can serve that purpose for people of any faith so they may fulfill their religious obligations. This study also indicated that students have the need for an active organization for Muslim students to come together, such as the MSA. The results of the study also showed that Muslim students wanted inclusion, Islamic awareness, and understanding towards them and their religion. Finally, the study found that students need a safe place to go to if they are feeling vulnerable or just need someone to reach out and talk to.

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