Arts and Athletics

Faegheh Shirazi

in Velvet Jihad

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033549
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039589 | DOI:
Arts and Athletics

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The bodies of women in Islamic culture are controlled, mandated, and “shielded” from lustful men. According to fundamentalist Islamic authorities, as religious text interpretations and fundamentalist ideology would suggest, women are not allowed to publicly participate in performance art and athletics. Muslim women have thus found innovative ways of being able to share their creative talents, beauty, and athletic skills with the world. Women have been able to establish their own Olympic games, theatrical groups, musical ensembles, and dance troupes. As the male-driven policy becomes more expressive, the response of these women becomes more creative. This chapter attempts to explore whether these creative expressions are to be perceived as halal — permissible under Islam — or haram — forbidden under Islam.

Keywords: athletics; performance art; haram; halal; oppression

Chapter.  10386 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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