Relational Ethics: Volunteering and the Responsibilities of the Good Muslim
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AuthorKayikci, Merve Reyhan
Kayikci, M.R. Relational Ethics: Volunteering and the Responsibilities of the Good Muslim. Religions 2019, 10, 150. [doi:10.3390/rel10030150]
This article explores the ways in which female Belgian Muslim volunteers experience responsibility. It argues that responsibility consists of multiple dynamics for the volunteers, for example, the duties that are embedded in the Islamic tradition and the duties that arise from being a good citizen in a liberal/secular context. While these are often emphasized as being contentious binaries—especially for Muslims living in the West—this paper suggests that volunteering allows the Muslim women to bring these worlds together. The ways in which volunteering enables this is by introducing a relational reading of ethics and ethical self-formation. Relationality is highly significant for the female Muslim volunteer. It signifies being in touch with both (non-liberal) Islamic ethics and liberal public norms, even when pursuing a pious lifestyle. Hence, the article explores the ways in which responsibility is actualized in this framework. Finally, the last section interrogates how this idea of responsibility and relationality re-articulates binaries of the good-Muslim and the bad-Muslim.