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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

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

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