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Muslim World Journal of Human Rights

Editor-in-Chief: Kayaoglu, Turan

Ed. by Baderin, Mashood A. / Monshipouri, Mahmood / Welchman, Lynn

1 Issue per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 0.101
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 1.002

Between Orientalism and Fundamentalism: The Politics of Muslim Women's Feminist Engagement

Jasmin Zine1

1Wilfrid Laurier University,

Citation Information: Muslim World Journal of Human Rights. Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1554-4419, DOI: 10.2202/1554-4419.1080, August 2006

Publication History

Published Online:

Discourses of race, gender and religion have scripted the terms of engagement in the war on terror. As a result, Muslim feminists and activists must engage with the dual oppressions of Islamophobia that relies on re-vitalized Orientalist tropes and representations of backward, oppressed and politically immature Muslim women as well as religious extremism and puritan discourses that authorize equally limiting narratives of Islamic womanhood and compromise their human rights and liberty. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the way Muslim women have been discursively scripted from these opposing and contradictory spaces, and to explore the negotiations and contestations made by both secular and faith-centred Muslim feminists in combating these oppressive arrangements. In the first part of the discussion, I will draw on post-colonial and anti-racist feminist analyses to map out the complex interactions of race, gender, sexuality and religion in earlier imperial practices of conquest and colonization and examine how the continuing legacies of these encounters implicate the current "war on terror". In the second part of the discussion, I will examine Muslim women's feminist political engagement with and resistance to the concomitant factors of imperial and fundamentalist domination and will craft a better understanding of how these factors variously shape and are shaped by Muslim women's responses to them.

Keywords: orientalism; fundamentalism; Muslim women; feminism

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