The Role of the Internet in the Formation of Muslim Subjectivity Among Polish Female Converts to Islam

Author(s) Anna Piela, Joanna Krotofil, Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska, Beata Abdallah-Krzepkowska
Contact Anna Piela, Northwestern UNI, Crowe Hall 4-134, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. Email:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 16, Iss. 1, 2022, pp. 35-66
Published September 22, 2022
Type Article
Abstract In this article, we discuss the main arguments related to female Muslim converts’ formation of a religious subjectivity in the context of studying Islam in online spaces. In distinguishing between Western and Eastern Europe, it is our purpose to highlight the significance of online sources for converts who inhabit geographic “peripheries” of Islam. After giving an overview of the literature that discusses Muslim subject formation among converts, we analyse 35 in-depth, qualitative interviews with Polish female converts to Islam in reference to a theoretical framework that integrates Belenky et al.’s model of epistemological categories of knowledge and the concept of Muslim subjectivity formation. We argue that for the Polish female converts we interviewed, the process of acquiring and revising their knowledge about Islam, through online engagement with individuals, groups, texts, and multimedia content, is vital for developing an ontologically secure Muslim subjectivity.
Keywords Muslim subjectivity, conversion to Islam, Poland