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Between Feminism and Islam

Between Feminism and Islam: Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco

Zakia Salime
Volume: 36
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Between Feminism and Islam
    Book Description:

    Morocco has two major women’s movements: the Islamists who hold shari’a as the platform for building a culture of women’s rights, and the feminists who use the United Nations’ framework to amend shari’a law. Zakia Salime shows how the interactions of these movements over the past two decades have transformed the debates, the organization, and the strategies of each other.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7832-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction. Struggles over Political Power: Entangled Feminist and Islamist Movements
    (pp. xi-xxx)

    “The feminist movement is the locomotive; if it breaks down, it will take with it all democratic forces in this country.” With these words, Samira explained why she had traveled all the way north from the southern city of Marrakech to join the feminist rally in Rabat in March 2000. The trains were packed, she added. The socialist mayor of Fez, another major city, offered six buses to shuttle in participants. Upon the buses, men and women were writing slogans: “Yes for the New Morocco, No to Reactionaries.” A man in his sixties was on one of these buses. His...

  5. 1 Gender and the Nation State: Family Law, Scholars, Activists, and Dissidents
    (pp. 1-29)

    On August 20, 1992, the Moroccan public was expecting to hear King Hassan’s annual address to the nation. The women involved in signing the One Million Signature Campaign were particularly concerned with that year’s address. They knew that the king would not keep silent after their mass mobilization, much less after the death penalty statement suggested in the Islamist press by one of the “independent” ‘alim(theologians). Both events, Moroccans knew, encroached on the authority of the king as Commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Mu’minin), with ultimate religious authority and the power to define the realm of the acceptable in...

  6. 2 Feminization of the Islamist Movements: The One Million Signature Campaign
    (pp. 30-68)

    In 1992 the feminist group UAF launched the One Million Signature Campaign. As its name indicates, this campaign aimed to collect one million signatures against themudawwana. The petition contested this code’s consecration of gender inequalities and proposed an egalitarian codification based on equal rights and shared responsibilities of husbands and wives within the family. The UAF’s project of reform was inspired by the liberal discourse of women’s rights and by international treaties, notably the CEDAW. Since the early 1980s, the debate about the reform of themudawwanahad become more intense and widespread, but never were the controversies more...

  7. 3 Reversing the Feminist Gains: The Islamist Mass Rally of 2000
    (pp. 69-109)

    The Islamist rally of March 2000 truly marked Islamist women’s entry into the formal political field. I consider this rally a movement moment because it captures simultaneously the tensions related to political alternance and the new framework in which the feminist movement had to operate. In this chapter, I will show how this movement has been transformed in contact with the Islamist discourse of “identity” and grassroots politics. I coined the term “Islamization” to explore the various modes in which feminist groups have validated feminism in the aftermath of the Casablanca rally. The rally marked a distinct turning point in...

  8. 4 Feminism and Islamism Redefined: In Light of the 2003 Terror Attack on Casablanca
    (pp. 110-133)

    In May 2003, five simultaneous explosions shook the city of Casablanca, killing forty-five people, including the twelve men, all Moroccans, involved in the attacks. The targets were a Spanish cultural center hosting a restaurant, a Jewish community center, a Jewish cemetery, the Belgian consulate, and the Farah Hotel. The young men involved in the attack were identified as part of the radical web al-Salafiyya al-jihādiyya. On-the-ground local analysts and activists blamed the attack on social and economic deprivation after learning that the twelve perpetrators came from the shantytown of Sidi Moumen, and more precisely all from the same slum, Douar...

  9. 5 Subversive Veiling: Beyond the Binary of the Secular and the Religious
    (pp. 134-148)

    The terms “feminism” and “Islamism” have genealogies rooted in colonial representations about Islam and postcolonial identifications with modernity. Gender lies at the center of these representations. The question of women’s oppression in Islam was crucial to legitimizing not only the colonial enterprise (Ahmed 1992; Haddad and Smith 1996; Zayzafoon 2005), but also the nationalist resistance couching the project of postcolonial modernity in women’s emancipation, their participation in public life, and, more importantly, their unveiling (al-Fassi 1953; Chraibi 1954).

    Since the 1980s, the veiling of a young generation of educated and professional women has complicated the binary of modernity versus tradition,...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 149-158)
  11. Glossary, Abbreviations, and Organizations
    (pp. 159-164)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 165-182)
  13. Index
    (pp. 183-195)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 196-198)