Nafiseh Ghafournia, "Faith in Freedom: Muslim Immigrant Women Experiences of Domestic Violence" (Melbourne UP, 2019)


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In Faith in Freedom: Muslim Immigrant Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence (Melbourne University Press, 2019), Nafiseh Ghafournia explores questions of domestic violence in the context of Muslim immigrant women in Australia. Aiming to correct existing accounts of Muslim women’s lives and experiences particularly as immigrants, the study uses an intersectional framework to deepen our understanding of the ways that immigrant Muslim women understand, experience, and respond to domestic violence. Among the themes that the book covers are the relationships between culture, religion, gender, and immigration status in the context of domestic violence; why and when, if at all, might women leave abusive relationships; the various kinds of domestic violence that immigrant Muslim women experience, including physical, psychological, financial, spiritual, sexual, in-laws, and immigration-related violence; services available to victims and survivors of abuse; and essential information for service providers and policy makers.

The book will appeal to anyone interested in immigrant experiences, domestic violence from an intersectional perspective, Muslim women; and because of its practical value, it should also be read by service providers, policymakers, ESL educators, and others who interact with immigrants on a regular basis.

Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She is currently working on a book project on Muslim women's marriage to non-Muslims in Islam. Shehnaz runs a YouTube channel called What the Patriarchy?!, where she vlogs about feminism and Islam in an effort to dismantle the patriarchy and uproot it from Islam (ambitious, she knows). She can be reached at

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