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Approaching Islam as a discursive terrain, this article challenges the tacit understanding of Islam as a repressor in young women’s lives and argues that well-educated, young female Muslims in Denmark use a discursive distinction between “real” Islam and “misguided” ethno-cultural traditions to challenge restrictive gender norms. Inspired by research on everyday lived religion and lived Islam, we show how the women—backed by their middle-class identity formations—posit a culture/religion dichotomy turning the discursive terrain of Islam into a resource in intergenerational discussions with their own families and wider communities. Addressing a gap in research literature on European Muslims, the article illustrates how middle-class formations play a significant part in the women’s responses to conventional authorities as the women apply Islamic sources in negotiations of gender boundaries.
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