Document Type

Book Chapter


Dance (Pomona), Theatre (Pomona)

Publication Date



dance, Islam, public, private, politics


In this essay, Islam itself is first examined in order to determine how individual Muslims justify to themselves and to others the banning of dancing in various contexts. Following a brief discussion of Islam as it relates to dance, some of the myriad dance genres and contexts found in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia are discussed. Finally, I consider the many ways in which many Muslims perceive dance, and then describe and analyze the local reactions to dancing in its complexity. This approach elucidates multiple meanings that create a pattern of behavior within specific cultural contexts.


From pp. 67-85, Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion edited by Naomi Jackson and Toni Shapiro-Phim, 2008, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield

All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.

Full book available at:

Rights Information

Copyright © 2008 by Naomi Jackson and Toni Shapiro-Phim