Toward a Muslim Ethics of Care: Leadership in American Islamic schools


  • Amaarah DeCuir American University



In this empirical study, I describe how Muslim women leading American Islamic schools enact a critical ethics of care framework in their leadership work. As previous critical studies indicate, this research moves beyond caring as an expression of emotion to the work of caring that transforms a community into one that can challenge inequities by building a climate of cultural affirmation. Through an analysis of qualitative interviews of such women, I advance a concept of Muslim ethics of care that communicates the caring work of school leaders rooted in establishing equity. The following four themes form the foundation of this conceptual framework: (a) caring to lead with equitable school practices; (b) caring as resistance to oppression, (c) caring through nurturing often described as “other mothering,” (d) and caring as an Islamic obligation. This study places these leaders’ voices within the broader context of a critical ethics of care framework, thereby demonstrating the role of faith-marginalized community leaders as social justice advocates.






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