Globalization, Women, and Religion in the Middle East

Azza M. Karam

in The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199273881
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Globalization, Women, and Religion in the Middle East

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the legacies of colonialism in the Middle East, and then turns to women and religion in the Middle East, feminisms in the Middle East, and Islamism in the Middle East. It argues that while religious discourse will always have an important role in the Middle East, it is seriously myopic to assume that the Muslim Brotherhood—and all other Islamists—are “anti-women” and “anti-democratic,” as previous nuancing holds. Even within the one organization itself, there are diverse perspectives on women's rights. There are extremely active, very well-educated, cultured, and articulate women members of the Brotherhood, for example, just as there will always be those who are uncomfortable with women's public roles. What must be appreciated is that, in tandem with regime change (and calls for it), are revolutions occurring within almost every group, party, and institution in the Middle East today.

Keywords: feminism; Middle East; colonialism; Islamism; Middle Eastern women; religion; Muslim Brotherhood

Article.  8051 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Religious Studies

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