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Introduction - Mernissi As A Point Of Entry Into Islamic Feminism

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Chapter Summary

Mernissi's work has rarely been extensively examined or deeply analyzed, even when widely cited in works dealing with gender in Islam or Muslim majority societies. This chapter presents the definitions of 'Islamic feminism' provided by Abdellah Labdaoui, Cooke, and Badran, who identify Mernissi's latest work on Islam as exemplifying an 'Islamic feminist' position. The author problematizes 'Islamic feminism' as a concept mainly through deconstructing Badran's and Cooke's definitions or theorization of 'Islamic feminism'. Problematizing the term should not be understood as a debasement of Cooke's or Badran's work. Their definitions, of course, correspond to the producers of Islamic feminism's own perceptions of their projects. The author's focus is not so much the definition as much as the practice of 'Islamic feminism'. Engaging critically the theorization of Islamic feminism is a point of entry to engage the practice of Islamic feminism, as in Mernissi's work, and foregrounding its disabling strategies.

Keywords: Abdellah Labdaoui; Badran; Cooke; Islamic Feminism; Mernissi



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