Article - Gendered Islam and Modernity in the Nation-Space

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19 Apr 2012
Monday March 26th, 2012
Article: Gendered Islam and Modernity in the Nation-Space
Article: Gendered Islam and Modernity in the Nation-Space
Jamal, Amina. “Gendered Islam and Modernity in the Nation-Space.” Feminist Review, Issue 91,
February 2009.
Key Points from the Article:
- Islamic movements in Muslim societies are the catalyst of modernization, rather than its interlocutors.
Responsible for engaging people in political activity
-------> West sees Islamic movements as anti-modern forces
- Maududi wanted to appropriate modern rationalist thought and Islamize it. The modernist wanted to
modernize Islam whereas Mawdudi wanted to also Islamize modernity
- Modernity has been associated with: secularization as a process of defining the legitimate domain of
religion, the formulation of subjectivities through individualizing and totalizing discourses; the discursive
construction of the West and its Others; a particular configuration of homogenous, empty-time space
associated with the nation state; and the multiple locations of culture among others
- Jamaat-e-Islami women describe themselves as ‘modern’ but take care to distance their modernity
from the West; they fight for the rights of women but distinguish their activism from feminism.
- Human subjectivities are intersected by a plurality of interests, including class, race, and sexuality, and
emphasizes the operations of various power relations in representational practices.
- Modern and religious are not necessarily mutually exclusive
- An important achievement of Zonan’s activism is that it has broken down the secular-religious
dichotomy among Iranian women
- Unlike the Islamic feminist in Iran, Jamaat women cannot be valourized as Islamic feminist. They frame
their project as the complete transformation of social relations and this is what positions them against
projects of feminism in Pakistan.
- Their transformative project manifests itself into three main aspects of Jamaat women’s activism. Their
prioritizing of the nation-state as the main agent for guaranteeing women’s rights to live as Islamic
citizen-subjects; their emphasize on socio-economic factors for safeguarding the Islamic family and re-
situating it in public space; and the appropriation of feminist methods of activism and organizing such as
NGOs, workshops, consciousness raising and advocacy groups. Focus on women needs.
- They are not against modernity but are for a different version of modernity than those imposed upon
by the postcolonial state.
- the jameet-e-islami women situated themselves at the intersection of Islam and modernity and
considered both to signify progress and development in contrast to “tradition” or “the traditional”
- Prioritizes education
- Jamaat women consider the restoration of Islamic political, economical, and legal systems as not
simply a reaction to Western colonialism and imperialism. They see it primarily as a necessary part of
the project of decolonization and recovery from processes of degeneration.
- Male Islamist support technological development, but are opposed to the concept of modernity to
signify its goals. They reject being identified as being modern.
- Purdah narrative is being renamed from purdah to parliament, to purdah in parliament.
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