Alcohol and networking

Another interesting thread I'm finding throughout my interviews is about alcohol. Many observant Muslims do not drink alcohol, including the women I have interviewed. However, beyond not drinking alcohol themselves, many do not feel comfortable in situations where alcohol is present, avoiding sitting at tables where people are drinking, or attending events held in bars. This is a personal, religious choice, but it makes it difficult for the women to network or socialize with coworkers or fellow students when events include alcohol, and they often miss out on events. Some people may think that it is enough to provide non-alcoholic drinks for them to enjoy, but many still do not feel comfortable in these settings. It's something to think about - holding events in varied locations to make sure everyone feel comfortable. This might get its own section in my thesis, because I think it's an interesting example of these women trying to balance being Muslim and being American.