Ramadhina Ulfa Nuristama(1*), Nestiani Hutami(2), Inka Zahwa Sabrina(3), Anas Armasta(4)

(1) UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya
(2) UIN Raden Mas Said Surakarta
(3) UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya
(4) UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya
(*) Corresponding Author


The 9/11 tragedy in America has created more intense tension between America and Middle Eastern cultures. Then, the term Islamophobia emerged, where many non-Muslims feared Islam. Even until now, they associate Islam with terrorism. However, this situation led Willow, the main character, to decide to study and convert to Islam. Although not the main point that caused Willow to convert to Islam, the decision was made after the 9/11 tragedy. Willow represents a western woman who intentionally learns Islamic teachings. This study will use a qualitative descriptive method to explore events and cultures surrounding the main character. Therefore, there are two purposes of this study. The first is to delve into how the culture of Middle Eastern Muslim women is portrayed. Secondly, is to examine how the main character adapts to the culture of Middle Eastern Muslim women. In analyzing the data, this study applies postcolonial feminism theory to understand the cultural differences between Middle Eastern and Western Muslims, particularly regarding women. This study shows that the main character faces cultural challenges different from her origin country in carrying out religious practices, especially Islam. Nonetheless, the main character can adapt to the values of both cultures.


Islam; Middle Eastern Culture; Muslim Women; The Butterfly Mosque; Western Culture

Full Text:



Afary, J. (2004). The Human Rights Of Middle Eastern & Muslim Women: A Project For The 21st Century. Human Rights Quarterly, 26(1).

Badran, M. (2002). Feminism and the Qur’ān. In Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an (pp. 199–203). Koninklijke Brill nv.

Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The Location of Culture. In The location of culture. Routledge.

Bourbonnais, N. (2016). A Brief History of Women’s History. The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Derby, S. K. (2019). Author G. Willow Wilson talks faith and creating a Muslim superhero. A.P. News.

Gecewicz, C. (2017). Muslim men and women see life in America differently. Pew Research Center.

Hariyatmi, S. (2015). n-between Self and Other: Re-reading Islamic Women Identity in Wilson’s The Butterfly Mosque. In N. Dewi & B. Bram (Eds.), English Language Studies Indonesia: For Truth and Meaning (pp. 116–126).

How the U.S. general public views Muslims and Islam. (2017). Pew Research Center.

Janson, E. (2011). Stereotypes That Define “ Us ”: the Case of Muslim Women. ENDC Proceedings, 14, 181–196.

Jones, R. P., & Cox, D. (2017). America’s Changing Religious Identity: Findings from the 2016 American Values Atlas. PRRI.

Khan, A. R. (2021). Surah Al-Isra’ Verse 32. Qurano.

Khattab, D. M. (2016). Ayah an-Nisa` (Women) 4:34. Islam Awakened.

Lipka, M. (2017). Muslims and Islam: Key Findings in the U.S. and Around the World. Pew Research Center.

Masci, D. (2019). Many see religious discrimination in U.S., especially against Muslims. Pew Research Center.

McGinty, A. M. (2006). Becoming Muslim: Western Women’s Conversions to Islam (First). Palgrave Macmillan.

Mikaeli, A. (2019). Western Whiteness in an American Way of Religious Conversion in Willow Wilson’s The Butterfly Mosque. International Journal of Linguistics , Literature and Translation (IJLLT), 2(1), 200–209.

Mirza, Q. (2008). Islamic Feminism and gender equality. International Institute of the Study of Islam in the Modern World, 21, 30–32.

Muslim Americans: Immigrants and U.S. born see life differently. (2018). Pew Research Center.

Payind, A., & McClimans, M. (2017). Keys to understanding the Middle East. 1–86.

People and Ideas: Early American Groups. (2021).

Rashid, H. (2011). The butterfly mosque: A young American woman’s journey to love and Islam. 28(3), 140–142.

Shlezinger, K. (2010). G. Willow Wilson, The Butterfly Mosque. 3(1), 1–3.

Soltani, A., & Thinyane, H. (2019). How Muslim women break stereotypes by mixing faith and modesty with fashion. The Conversation.

The Butterfly Mosque Summary. (n.d.). SuperSummary. Retrieved July 13, 2021, from

Tolentino, J. (2017). The Writer Behind a Muslim Marvel Superhero on Her Faith in Comics. The New Yorker.

van Es, M. A. (2016). Stereotypes and Self-Representations of Women with a Muslim Background. In Stereotypes and Self-Representations of Women with a Muslim Background.

Wilson, G.W. (2010). The Butterfly Mosque. In Atlantic Monthly Press. Grove Press.

Wong, E. (2002). The History of Religious Conflict in the United States: Revolution to September 11th. ReligiousConflict.htm


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 758 | views : 690


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Rubikon : Journal of Transnational American Studies

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

Indexed by:

   Crossref Google Scholar JournalStories Main logo  OAI logo  

View My Stats