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Gender, Politics, and Islam

Therese Saliba (Editor) Carolyn Allen (Editor) Judith A. Howard (Editor)
Synopsis In a time of increasing hostility towards Islam, this collection extends the boundaries of global feminism to include Islamic women. Challenging Orientalist assumptions of Muslim women as victims of Islam and Islamic fundamentalism, these groundbreaking essays focus on the complex relations of power that shape women’s negotiations for identity, power, and agency as participants in religious, cultural and nationalist movements. This book brings together Signs essays on women in the Middle East, South Asia, and the Diaspora, from Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, and Yemen to explore how women negotiate indigenous identities and attempt to gain political, economic, and legal rights. This collection shows that Islam is a heterogeneous set of historically and contextually variable practices and beliefs shaped by region, nation, ethnicity, sect, and class, as well as by responses to local and transnational cultural and economic processes. In examining women’s participation in religious and nationalist projects, these critics debate controversial issues: Does Islamic feminism provide an alternative, possibly revolutionary paradigm, to Eurocentric liberal humanism and the individualism of western feminism? It Islam any more oppressive to women than the workings of the modern secular state? How are the lives and texts of Arab and Muslim women discursively constructed for local or western consumption? These essays expose the shortcoming of the secularist assumptions of many recent feminist analyses, which continue to treat religion in general and fundamentalism in particular as a problematic tool of oppression used against women, rather than as a viable form of feminist agency that produces contradictory effects for women participants.
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About the authors

Therese Saliba

Therese Saliba ius Faculty, Third World Feminist Studies, Evergreeen State College, Olympia, WA and formerly Associate Editor, Signs, and Senior Fulbright Scholar, Bethlehem University, West Bank.

Carolyn Allen

Carolyn Allen is Professor of English, University of Washington, a former editor of Signs, and recipient of the University of Washiington Distinguished Teaching Award.

Judith A. Howard

Judith A. Howard is Chair of the Department of Women Studies and Professor of Sociology, University of Washington, President of the Pacific Sociological Association (2002), a former editor of Sign and recipient of the University of Washington Distinguished Mentor Award.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gender, Politics, and Islam
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8125027424
length vi+354p., References; Index; 23cm.