In search of Islamic feminism

I just finished reading In Search of Islamic Feminism by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. The author visits Muslim countries in search of what she is calling Islamic Feminism, interestingly she encounters a very vocal and active group of women working real hard to improve women’s lives yet do not want to be called feminists. Partly because “feminists” as seen by these women is associated with the Western type of feminism which is quite different than what is happening in these countries. Perhaps in Muslim countries, women already know what their rights are, the Quran is very clear on it. Islam has very clear laws and rules and they are all in favor of protecting and respecting women. The problem is that they are either misinterpreted or not followed, and this is what womens movements are mainly trying to accomplish, to bring these laws into the light and make sure they are followed correctly.

The book is fun to read, because it is more like a story of B.J.’s (as her friends call her in the book) journey to these countries.  She has been to most of them before and is revisiting and also tells of how things have changed.  She is neither judgmental of the culture nor completely unbiased which makes the reading even more fun and relaxed.

Reviews of the book:

Middle East Policy Council journal

Mascunilism blog

No Comments