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The Forgotten Queens of Islam

Fatima Mernissi (Author)
Synopsis When Benazir Bhutto became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988, there were some who claimed that it was a blasphemous assault on Islamic tradition since no Muslim state, they alleged, had ever been governed by a woman. In this extraordinary book, Fatima Mernissi shows that those self proclaimed defenders of Islamic tradition were not only misguided but wrong. She looks back through fifteen centuries of Islam and uncovers a hidden history of women who have held the reins of power, but whose lives and stories, achievements and failures, have largely been forgotten. Mernissi recounts the stories of fifteen queens, including Sultana Radiyya who reigned in Delhi from 1250 until her violent death at the hands of a peasant; the Island Queens who ruled in the Maldives and Indonesia; and the Arab Queens of Egypt and of the Shi'ite dynasty of Yemen. It was the Yemenis who bestowed upon queens a title that was theirs alone, Balgis al-sughra, or 'Young Queen of Sheba'. Mernissi concludes this absorbing historical inquiry by reflecting on its implications on the way in which politics is practised in the Islamic world today, a world in which women while generally more educated than their predecessors, are largely excluded from the political domain. This powerful and engaging book, by one of the most original and distinctive voices in the Islamic world, will be of great interest to anyone concerned with Islamic society and politics.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Forgotten Queens of Islam
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195798686
length v+229p.