National and Transnational Dimensions
The aims of Islamic feminism are at once theological and socially reformist. Its proponents are often activists, as well as authors and scholars. It is linked to democratic reform movements within the Islamic world as well as to civil rights movements in Europe and the USA, and is supported by actors who resist the advances of patriarchal religious positions as well as Western secular definitions of modernity. Unlike secular feminists, proponents of Islamic feminism see the justification for their fight for women’s rights and gender equality in their own interpretation of Islam’s sacred text, the statements attributed to the Prophet, and his supposed life circumstances. In addition, they draw on approaches taken from new Islamic historiography. This chapter deals with the foundations of Islamic feminism and its transnational political dimension, and asks in what national and local transformation processes its proponents were able to have an impact.
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