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Revisiting Islam From 'Within'

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with Mernissi's L'Amour dans les pays musulmans, The Veil and the Male Elite, and Islam and Democracy. Mernissi carefully avoids rereading Qur’anic verses dealing with women in L'Amour dans les pays musulmans, which suggests the difficulty of moving from a secularist to an Islamic feminist position. Since the book is her first attempt to bring together feminism and Islam, she has not yet found the appropriate approach to the Qur’an, especially its androcentric discourse, which she cannot yet explain. It is not until her subsequent work, The Veil and the Male Elite, that she overcomes this difficulty by adopting a historical or contextual reading of Qur’anic verses. Islam and Democracy is the last book in Mernissi's Islamic feminist trajectory. It foregrounds a humanist Mernissi who celebrates the tradition of Sufism and extols the virtues of political secularism.

Keywords: Islam and Democracy; Islamic feminist trajectory; L'Amour dans les pays musulmans; Mernissi; The Veil and the Male Elite



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