Minaret: Islam and Feminism at Crossroads = Minarete: Islam y feminismo en la encrucijada

Muhammad Abdullah

Resumen


Abstract. Feminism is alleged to have marginalized and objectified non Western, ethnic, religious, cultural and geographical communities. Women from these marginalized segments are now indigenising the movement to make the cause pluralistic, feminisms—representation of women across the globe. Islamic feminism or/and Muslim feminism, not necessarily advocated by Muslims, is one of the feminist facets that enriches the concept of feminism by bringing to the fore Islam as a faith towards women liberation. This study engages with expression of femaleness, if not feminism, in Sudanese-Scottish fictionist Leila Aboulela’s work— ‘Minaret’. Aboulela’s heroine, Najwa, reinvents herself from liberalism towards Islam. She does not set out to defend Islam from a Western perspective that has come to characterise popular narratives about identity and the clash of cultures in Britain. Instead, she relates to an inside experience of connecting with Islamic network of customs and beliefs for spiritual appease. The key concern of the study is to examine the way this transformation takes place—stimulus and modalities. At times her version of bondage with Islam justifies and reinforces patriarchy rather than combating it. In that, she appears to be standing on the wrong side of notion of gender egalitarianism in Islam. Incongruously, Anwar, the male protagonist emerges as a profeminist portraying liberal feminist values. The denouement is that we need to tolerate diversity of feminist cause within Islamic circles and beyond with a progressive spirit

Keywords:  Islam, Gender, Islamic feminism, Middle Eastern, Women Fiction, Minaret.

Resumen. Se alega que el feminismo ha marginalizado y objetivizado a las comunidades no occidentales. Las mujeres desde estos segmentos marginalizados (étnicos, religiosos y culturales) ahora inician movimientos para convertir a la causa en plural con el fin de que los feminismos sean representados en todo el planeta. El feminismo islámico y/o feminismo musulmán, no necesariamente defendido por musulmanes, es una de las facetas feministas que enriquecen el concepto de feminismo, el cual presenta al islam como una fe que se dirige hacia la liberación de la mujer. Este estudio, entre otras cuestiones, se compromete con las expresiones de la feminidad y no con el feminismo.

Palabras clave Islam, género, feminismo islámico, Medio Este, mujeres de ficción, Minarete


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20318/femeris.2017.3763

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FEMERIS EISSN: 2530-2442 http://www.uc3m.es/femeris
editada por Instituto Universitario de Estudios de Género de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.