Do Muslim Women Need Saving? is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam. It offers a detailed, moving portrait of the actual experiences of ordinary Muslim women, and of the contingencies with which they live.
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First published in 1986, Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments has become a classic ethnography in the field of anthropology. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations, morality, and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But Abu-Lughod’s analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of social hierarchy. What begins as a puzzle about a single poetic genre becomes a reflection on the politics of sentiment and the complexity of culture. This thirtieth anniversary edition includes a new afterword that reflects on developments both in anthropology and in the lives of this community of Awlad 'Ali Bedouins, who find themselves increasingly enmeshed in national political and social formations. The afterword ends with a personal meditation on the meaning—for all involved—of the radical experience of anthropological fieldwork and the responsibilities it entails for ethnographers.
This volume brings together the work of a group of Islamic studies scholars from across the globe. They discuss how past and present Muslim women have participated in the struggle for gender justice in Muslim communities and around the world. The essays demonstrate a diversity of methodological approaches, religious and secular sources, and theoretical frameworks for understanding Muslim negotiations of gender norms and practices. Part I (Concepts) puts into conversation women scholars who define Muslima theology and Islamic feminism vis-à-vis secular notions of gender diversity and discuss the deployment of the oppression of Muslim women as a hegemonic imperialist strategy. The chapters in Part II (Sources) engage with the Qur’an, hadith, and sunna as religious sources to be examined and reinterpreted in the quest for gender justice as God’s will and the example of the Prophet Muhammad. In Part III (Histories), contributors search for Muslim women’s agency as scholars, thinkers, and activists from the early period of Islam to the present – from Southeast Asia to North America. Representing a transnational and cross-generational conversation, this work will be a key resource to students and scholars interested in the history of Islamic feminism, Muslim women, gender justice, and Islam.
The Fear of Islam investigates the context of Western views of Islam and offers an introduction to the historical roots and contemporary anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world. Tracing the medieval legacy of religious polemics and violence, Green orients readers to the complex history and issues of Western relations to Islam, from early and late modern colonial enterprises and theories of "Orientalism," to the production of religious discourses of otherness and the clash of civilizations that proliferated in the era of 9/11 and the war on terror. In this second edition, Green brings the reader up to date, examining the Islamophobic rhetoric of the 2016 US presidential election and the ongoing success of populist and far right parties in Europe. Green provides updated data on the rise of anti-Muslim legislation--for example, the Muslim ban in the United States and a wave of full-face veil bans in Europe--as well as the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes on both sides of the Atlantic since 2015. This important book is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand current views of Islam and to work toward meaningful peace and understanding between religious communities.
Visual images are everywhere in international politics. But how are we to understand them? In Sensible Politics, William A. Callahan uses his expertise in theory and filmmaking to explore not only what visuals mean, but also how visuals can viscerally move and connect us in "affective communities of sense." The book's rich analysis of visual images (photographs, film, art) and visual artifacts (maps, veils, walls, gardens, cyberspace) shows how critical scholarship needs to push beyond issues of identity and security to appreciate the creative politics of social-ordering and world-ordering. Here "sensible politics" isn't just sensory, but looks beyond icons and ideology to the affective politics of everyday life. It challenges our Eurocentric understanding of international politics by exploring the meaning and impact of visuals from Asia and the Middle East. Sensible Politics offers a unique approach to politics that allows us to not only think visually, but also feel visually-and creatively act visually for a multisensory appreciation of politics.
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
Frequently in partnership, but sometimes at odds, religious institutions and public health institutions work to improve the well-being of their communities. There is increasing awareness among public health professionals and the general public that the social conditions of poverty, lack of education, income inequality, poor working conditions, and experiences of discrimination play a dominant role in determining health status. But this broad view of the social determinants of health has largely ignored the role of religious practices and institutions in shaping the life conditions of billions around the globe. In Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health, leading scholars in the social sciences, public health, and religion address this omission by examining the embodied sacred practices of the world's religions, the history of alignment and tension between religious and public health institutions, the research on the health impact of religious practice throughout the life course, and the role of religious institutions in health and development efforts around the globe. In addition, the volume explores religion's role in the ongoing epidemics of HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's disease, as well as preparations for an influenza pandemic. Together, these groundbreaking essays help complete the picture of the social determinants of health by including religion, which has until now been an invisible determinant.
An interdisciplinary collection, Gender and Culture at the Limit of Rights examines the potential and limitations of the "women's rights as human rights" framework as a strategy for seeking gender justice. Drawing on detailed case studies from the United States, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere, contributors to the volume explore the specific social histories, political struggles, cultural assumptions, and gender ideologies that have produced certain rights or reframed long-standing debates in the language of rights. The essays address the gender-specific ways in which rights-based protocols have been analyzed, deployed, and legislated in the past and the present and the implications for women and men, adults and children in various social and geographical locations. Questions addressed include: What are the gendered assumptions and effects of the dominance of rights-based discourses for claims to social justice? What kinds of opportunities and limitations does such a "culture of rights" provide to seekers of justice, whether individuals or collectives, and how are these gendered? How and why do female bodies often become the site of contention in contexts pitting cultural against juridical perspectives? The contributors speak to central issues in current scholarly and policy debates about gender, culture, and human rights from comparative disciplinary, historical, and geographical perspectives. By taking "gender," rather than just "women," seriously as a category of analysis, the chapters suggest that the very sources of the power of human rights discourses, specifically "women's rights as human rights" discourses, to produce social change are also the sources of its limitations.
This book assesses whether a new category of religious actors has been constructed within international law. Religious actors, through their interpretations of the religion(s) they are associated with, uphold and promote, or indeed may transform, potentially oppressive structures or discriminatory patterns. This study moves beyond the concern that religious texts and practices may be incompatible with international law, to provide an innovative analysis of how religious actors themselves are accountable under international law for the interpretations they choose to put forward. The book defines religious actors as comprising religious states, international organizations, and non-state entities that assume the role of interpreting religion and so claim a 'special' legitimacy anchored in tradition or charisma. Cutting across the state / non-state divide, this definition allows the full remit of religious bodies to be investigated. It analyses the crucial question of whether religious actors do in fact operate under different international legal norms to non-religious states, international organizations, or companies. To that end, the Holy See-Vatican, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and churches and religious organizations under the European Convention on Human Rights regime are examined in detail as case studies. The study ultimately establishes that religious actors cannot be seen to form an autonomous legal category under international law: they do not enjoy special or exclusive rights, nor incur lesser obligations, when compared to their respective non-religious peers. Going forward, it concludes that a process of two-sided legitimation may be at stake: religious actors will need to provide evidence for the legality of their religious interpretations to strengthen their legitimacy, and international law itself may benefit from religious actors fostering its legitimacy in different cultural contexts.