mardi 7 juin 2011

Islamic Feminist Texts and Women Activists

Call for Abstracts/Papers on Islamic Feminist Texts and Women Activists

When one hears the concept of ‘Islamic feminism’ one becomes excited about the prospect of a feminist discourse articulated within an Islamic paradigm. Some have suspicions about the term ‘Islamic Feminism’ and consider it an oxymoron, while others understand it as a global phenomenon emerging among Muslim women scholars in Europe and the United States. Such women scholars, mostly non-Arab, have written pioneering work in English on women’s rights in Islam and on re-interpreting the notion of ‘woman’ in the Qur’an. Many of these women scholars are also activists who seek to advance their discourse and build a network among Muslim women in the new global world.

Is there more to the story of ‘Islamic Feminism’? This forthcoming issue of Al-Raida tries to shed light on the works of women scholars who are reading religious texts for the sake of re-interpreting women’s rights in Islam and criticizing the classical “Islamic notion of the emancipation of women”. Most importantly, these scholars whose work remains largely unknown, live in the Arab world and publish their works in Arab countries in the Arabic language. Although some of them would not call themselves Islamic feminists and do not see themselves as part of such a discourse, yet they are authors of important work which deserves to be brought forth and examined.

As such, the forthcoming issue on “Islamic Feminist Texts and Women Activists” tries to make the writings of these women available through translation and to introduce some of these scholars to the English speaking readers of Al-Raida. Topics may include but are not restricted to:
  • Islamic feminism or “Al-Niswiyya al-Islamiyya”: History of a concept.
  • Women scholarship and religious authority in Arab societies. What kind of discourse do major Arab Muslim feminists convey? A discourse of reform (islah), re-interpretation (ta’wil), or criticism (naqd)?
  • Qur’an scholarship and literary criticism.
  • The da‘iya: Activism for Islamic piety, Islamic agenda, or women’s claim for public space?
  • Feminist writings and re-claiming women’s role in the history of Islam.
  • Women support of other women in Sufi gatherings in Arab cities.
  • Muslim women and the radical critique of Islam in Europe and the US.
If you are interested in contributing to this issue of Al-Raida, kindly send your abstract (250-300 words) no later than July 15, 2011. All abstracts submitted are reviewed by Al-Raida 's editorial staff and are subject to its approval. Once the abstract is approved contributors will have to submit their paper no later than November 1, 2011. Submissions are accepted in English, Arabic or French. All non-English submissions will be translated by IWSAW and published in English following the approval of the author. This journal edition will be edited by Dr. Hosn Abboud. Kindly send your emails simultaneously to the managing editor, Ms. Myriam Sfeir, at and to the guest editor, Dr. Hosn Abboud, at

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