Chapter

The Emancipation of Woman <i>and</i> The New Woman

Qasim Amin

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 The Emancipation of Woman and The New Woman

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Qasim Amin (Egypt, 18631908) was renowned for his support of women's liberation in the Islamic world. Amin was born in Alexandria to an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father, a former Ottoman governor of Kurdistan who had retired to Egypt following a major revolt in that province. After finishing his primary education at the aristocratic Ras al-Tin School and the Khedival School, Qasim Amin obtained a bachelor's degree in law in 1881 from the School of Law and Administration and was sent to France in an educational mission for five years to study law. There, he joined Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (chapter 11) and Muhammad Abduh (chapter 3) and participated in their publication of the journal al-Urwa al-wuthqa (The Strongest Link). After his return to Egypt, he joined the judicial system and worked as attorney general and judge. Amin's major works include Les Egyptiens (The Egyptians, 1894), in which he defended Islam's treatment of women, and Tahrir al-mara (The Liberation of Woman, 1899), to which Abduh secretly contributed sections. The latter book, whose introduction is presented here, called for an end to the seclusion of women, an improvement in their status, and widespread education of girls. The book generated heated controversy in Egyptian intellectual circles, to which Amin responded in al-Mara al-jadida (The New Woman, 1900)whose conclusion is also presented hereadopting further liberal views, such as the need for women's participation alongside men in public life.1

Chapter.  7025 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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