Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the impact of political Islam on women and gender issues. It considers the common features of political Islam in Muslim societies across the Middle East and Africa. These include (1) calls for women to exit the public sphere and remain in the home, (2) a rearticulation of separate roles for men and women grounded in biological difference that religion is said to consecrate, and (3) the resumption of the hijab as a religious dictate vociferously promoted by Islamist movements and imposed by Islamist states. The article discusses the rise of Islamic feminism in the older Muslim societies in Africa and Asia. It also considers the dilemma facing Islamists: to continue to uphold a patriarchal version of Islam and therefore obstruct democracy or to go in the opposite direction and embrace an egalitarian Islam.
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