Purdah, Amanah, and Gheebat: Understanding Privacy in Bangladeshi "pious'' Muslim Communities

Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat, Mahiratul Jannat, Mahdi Nasrullah Al-Ameen, S M Taiabul Haque, Ashad Kabir, Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


HCI has a dearth of knowledge in understanding how religiosity, spirituality, and ideological values and practices shape the notion of privacy and guide information practices worldwide. In this paper, we fill this gap by reporting our findings from an eight-month-long ethnographically informed study in Bangladeshi Islamic communities. We report how the Islamic spirit of purdah, amanah, gheebat, riya, and buhtan represent the notion of privacy and guide privacy practices among "pious'' Bangladeshi Muslims. We further discuss how sacred values generate norms and customs associated with privacy and surveillance. Finally, we recommend how a nuanced understanding of divine interests, identity performance, family surveillance, and spatial privacy norms help designing for inclusive privacy in the Global South. This paper makes a novel contribution to HCI by providing a new analytical perspective to understand privacy and design privacy-preserving technologies and tools for regions where religiosity, spirituality, and sacred values play a dominant role.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (ACM COMPASS 2021)
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc (ACM)
Number of pages25
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 May 2021

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