Ethno Enclaves: Restrictions on Muslim Women's Spatial Mobility

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:12 PM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Arvinder ANSARI , Sociology, University, New Delhi, India
Abstract: RC 32 ISA

Ethno Enclaves: Restrictions on Muslim Women’s Spatial Mobility.

There been a visible increase in the incidents of violence against minorities, more specifically against Muslims, the violence itself has become more intense and frenzied. The minorities particularly Muslims are moving to areas where they are already in comfortable number.

Muslim women's minority location qualitatively transforms their experiences and perceptions in very distinct way, since their community is one that particularly feels under threat and surveillance, the issues surrounding Muslim women's access to the public and sexual safety become all the more complex. In fact, the restrictions imposed on Muslim women by their own com-munity are closely linked to the exclusion of the Muslim com-munity as a whole. The fact that their entire community is looked upon with hostility and habitually fears violence, means that Muslim women not only have less of a chance to venture out of community boundaries but also that their movements and behavior are more closely policed by their families and their community.

This paper attempts to examine how being a member of a particular religious minority community impacts a woman’s access, experience and negotiation of public space. inquires The areas of concern in the paper are– whether living in ‘ethno enclaves ‘dominated by their own community has a bearing on Muslim women’s spatial mobility; if the controls wielded by neo-fundamentalist groups limit their participation in public space; if wearing the veil in fact facilitates movement; how the issue of civic safety is framed in the context of Muslim women whose entire community’s safety is often at risk; and finally, in what way does their community’s growing exclusion from the everyday civic and political life of the city impact them.