Fatema Mernissi: A Pioneering Arab Muslim Feminist
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/05/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21384
Remembering sociologist Fatema Mernissi.
Since the publication of her first book Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Muslim Society in 1975, Mernissi documented specific turning points in the history of political and intellectual debates that Muslim societies generated in their relationship to Western modernities, in all their colonial interventions and aggressions.
The first Gulf War was one of these turning points. In Morocco, this war was lived as a major wound generating a protest that drew an estimated one million to the streets of the capital city. Mernissi's 1992 book Islam and Democracy: Fear of the Modern World reads as a powerful reaction to the U.S. war on Iraq, and to the Arab leadership's complicity in it.
The book presents an incisive critique of "fundamentalism," autocratic rule, and deep "fears" of Western modernity by revisiting the Islamic intellectual tradition of political debate and rational thinking.