Document Type

Working Paper


Fall 12-10-2021


Muslim student experience, growth in confidence, a sense of belonging, 'achieved' identity status




Cognition and Perception | Religion | Sociology of Religion


The broader perception of Muslim Student Association (MSA) in the wider society is not always positive. It is often viewed as a conservative organization where all members need to be a specific type of Muslim to fit in or a political space influenced by a foreign group or ideology. Because of this I studied the group, and my findings challenge this view drawing from the semester-long fieldwork, participant observations, and four in-depth interviews with MSA members at Salt City University (SCU). Data collected shows how the group and its members and the broader Muslim community on campus made Muslim students feel safe and understood and helped them grow in confidence and find belonging on campus. I examined the complex experiences of Muslim-identified students at SCU, considering identity development, the role of an adequate space, and needed support to fully immerse into a Muslim and broader campus community. I argue that adequate and visible space for Muslim students on campuses contributes to a vibrant Muslim community and thus to the growth in confidence and positive student experience, feelings of safety and belonging, and identity formation.

Creative Commons License

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