Beyond Feminism and Islamism: Gender and Equality in North by Doris H. Gray

By Doris H. Gray

Are ladies in North Africa and the center East ""feminist?"" Or is being a Muslim incompatible with feminism? Is there any such factor as ""Islamic feminism?"" via interviews with Moroccan activists and jurists – either female and male – and by means of situating those interviews inside their socio-political and monetary contexts, Doris grey addresses those questions. via doing so, she makes an attempt to maneuver past the straightforward bifurcation of ""feminist"" and ""Islamist"" to examine the various features of inner gender discourse inside of one Muslim state, bearing in mind a extra nuanced realizing of the dialogue on women's rights within the Muslim global typically. The prestige and the position of girls is among the so much hotly debated subject matters through the center East and North Africa, and this can be rather noticeable via this dialogue of what it potential to interact with and advertise feminist suggestion and activities within the quarter.

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Indd 37 11/4/2014 1:57:45 PM 38 BEYOND FEMINISM AND ISLAMISM analysis. By the same token, until recently government programmes routinely excluded these women, who are perceived as not playing a vital part in the economic progress of the country. Early on, Mernissi identified their exclusion as an essential flaw in the modernizing agenda, the focus of which was expanding the rights of an already privileged urban elite rather than bringing the large masses of illiterate and poor women into the mainstream.

According to Dialmy, at the time when Morocco was under French rule, proponents of feminism were mostly men whose attempts at reform were decried as being in contradiction to the religion of Islam, just as in contemporary discussions. 18 Thus, they proposed, though largely in vain, a new scriptural reading of the Qur’an and Hadith. In 1927, Mohammed Allal al Fassi (1910–74), Islamic scholar and one of the founding fathers of the Moroccan movement for independence from France,19 submitted a petition to the municipal council of his hometown Fes in which he denounced excessive demands for dowry.

Because of our authoritarian culture, we are not used to thinking for ourselves. For substantial change to take root, we need to reflect on what it is we want and not just criticize what is. Mernissi cites this groupthink mentality as one of the reasons she is no longer interested in discussions about women’s rights. indd 33 11/4/2014 1:57:45 PM 34 BEYOND FEMINISM AND ISLAMISM on most sides of the spectrum, secular feminists and Islamists alike, as reiterating positions already articulated elsewhere without developing authentic new ideas.

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