Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Eleni Roulis, Karen Westberg, Ingrid Mattson


Muslim women’s accounts of their own religious leadership have been consistently absent from historical documents and present-day reporting. The absence of narrations does not necessarily indicate the absence of women, however, and today more and more women are leading and becoming public figures using new platforms provided by the Internet. In order to understand the essence of their leadership, this study sought to discover and describe the religious leadership lives of Muslim women, to disentangle the relationship between feminism and feminist work per Muslim women religious leaders, and to understand how digital religion influences their leadership. This qualitative study is a feminist phenomenology of seven Muslim women who are public figures and religious leaders. Using long interviews, document analysis of their publications, public teaching observations, and netnographies. I gathered data about the essence of their leadership. I further triangulated the data with a six-week study of a WhatsApp chat that happened between 75 Muslim women religious leaders who remain anonymous in this study. The feminist theories of bell hooks (2000), Nell Noddings (1985), and feminist theologians, along with Aristotle’s theory of knowledge as expressed by al Farābi, and Chaos theory as applied to social systems as described by Fritjof Capra (2002) came together to form the theoretical underpinnings of this study. Careful analysis of the data resulted in a model of Muslim women’s religious leadership that can be used to both appreciate the unique aspects of their leadership and improve education and training for Muslim women who wish to enter into the field.


leadership, digital religion, Muslim women, chaos theory, feminism, teachers

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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