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Feminism Beyond East and West: New Gender Talk and Practice in Global Islam

Margot Badran (Author)
Synopsis Islamic feminism. What is it?  Where did it arise?  From within or from without?  Is it "legitimate"? What are its aims?  Muslims often label feminism as "western" by Muslims and thereby discredit it.  Or they claim feminism is not "eastern" and thus not authentic, and implicitly or explicitly un-Islamic or against Islam.  At the same time, there are many non-Muslims and westerners who make the same claims.  For such people feminism and Islam is either an anathema or an oxymoron.  East and West connote geographies, cultures, and states of mind, very often in sliding and slippery ways.  Islam, is typically called "Eastern" in ways the other two monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity, also originating in the East, are not. Early in its history, Islam had a presence in Europe; from the 8th to the 15th centuries in Spain, as well as during some of this time in parts of Italy and Portugal. After this period, however Muslims ceased to form part of the indigenous population in Western Europe.  In the same century it was disappearing from Western Europe, Islam appeared in the Balkans, with the spread of Ottoman rule.  Islamic feminism aims to recover and implement the fundamental objectives (maqasid) of Islam: social justice and the equality of all Muslims, including gender equality.  There can be no social justice without gender equality.  Islamic feminism, is attentive to the rights Islam granted to women that have withheld from them in practice, as well as the rights of any others withheld because of class, race, or ethnicity.  Islamic feminism is about gender, about women and men: their relations and interactions, about gender justice and the struggle to attain it, what in South Africa is called "gender jihad."
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About the author

Margot Badran

Margot Badran is Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Religion and Preceptor in the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought at Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. Professor Badran has researched and written on women and feminist thought and organizing, and everyday activisms, in the Middle East and Muslim societies for over three decades. Her books include: Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt, Harem Years: The Memoirs of An Egyptian Feminist Huda Shaarawi (which she translated, edited, and introduced) and Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (which she co-edited) and has just come out in a new and expanded edition titled Opening the Gates: An Arab Feminist Anthology. She is currently completing a book on comparative Islamic feminisms in Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, and South Africa.

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Bibliographic information

Title Feminism Beyond East and West: New Gender Talk and Practice in Global Islam
Author Margot Badran
Format Hardcover
Date published: 27.01.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8188869236
length 180p., Index; 24cm.