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Islamic Feminist Strategies in a Liberal Democracy: How Feminist are They?

Issue: Vol 1 No. 2 (2005)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/cist.2005.1.2.197


This article revisits the troubled relationship between Islam and feminism post September 11th 2001. The majority of the literature about Islamic feminism is concerned with Islamic women’s activism in the context of Muslim countries. This article is about women who choose an Islamic revivalist path in the context of Western secularized society and the strategies they employ to obtain their Islamic rights within that particular context. Rights discourse, rooted in Enlightenment thinking, which underpins liberalism and the discourse of choice, is the very discourse with which some Islamic revivalist sisters find fault, resulting in an effort by some to disentangle the liberal from the Islamic, in the liberal democratic context. I consider whether this interest in rights and the strategies utilised to obtain them may have waned since the events of 2001 and whether the term “feminism” is appropriate for the women’s activism for rights within Islam.

Author: Myfanwy Franks

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