Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 12, No 1-2 (2016)

Polish Tatar Women as Official Leaders of Muslim Religious Communities and the Sources of their Authority

Agata S. Nalborczyk
Issued Date: 28 Aug 2019

Abstract


The history of the Islamic presence in Poland goes back over 300 years. In the past, Muslim Tatar women played an important role in their communities by preserving and passing on the faith. In the twentieth century their role expanded, with a substantial number of women present at the highest levels of Muslim leadership. The article presents a case study of seven Polish Tatar women who have held the post of official elected presidents of local Muslim communities. These examples are presented in order to research the source of authority on which female leadership is based. The article uses three kinds of authority distinguished by Max Weber: legalrational, charismatic and traditional authority. The article is based on interviews with these female presidents and other members of their communities in order to reconstruct their authority as social and religious leaders and their impact on their respective communities.

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DOI: 10.1558/cis.34854

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