Islam and Gender in the Thought of a Critical-Progressive Muslim Scholar Activist Ziba Mir Hosseini
April 29, 2014
Adis Duderija, Islam and Gender in the Thought of a critical-progressive Muslim scholar activist Ziba Mir Hosseini, Journal of Islam and Christian Muslim Relations, Forthcoming.
The aim of this paper is to highlight the scholarly contribution of the Iranian born Muslim scholar-activist Ziba Mir-Hosseini to the academic field of gender and Islam. In the first part of the paper Mir-Hosseini’s thought is positioned within the larger processes of the shifting loci of authority and normativity in contemporary Islamic discourses and in particular in reference to the emergence of what I here termed critical–progressive Muslim scholar activists that Mir-Hosseini is a prominent member of. Next, I provide a brief justification as to why a study of Mir-Hosseini’s thought in relation to gender and Islam warrants examination. In the following section Mir-Hosseini’s personal journey into the field of gender and Islam is briefly outlined and her major contributions to the field are noted. This is followed by a discussion on how Mir-Hosseini finds support for her ideas in the various hermeneutical theories employed by leading contemporary reformist Muslim male scholars. The next section examines Mir-Hosseini’s views on the troubled relationship between the emerging Islamic feminism discourses and politically oriented (neo-)traditional expressions of Islam. Mir-Hosseini’s deconstruction of the assumptions governing classical Muslim family laws and ethics that have been re-appropriated and legally enforced by some contemporary Muslim majority nation states is presented next. This is followed by a discussion on Mir-Hosseini’s proposals how to reform Muslim family laws and ethics. The final section discusses Mir Hosseini’s s activism with special reference to her involvement with Musawah, the global movement for equality in Muslim family laws based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keywords: Ziba Mir Hosseini; Islamic law; Islamic ethics; Muslim family laws; critical Muslims; progressive Muslims; critical-progressive Muslims; Musawah
Date posted: May 14, 2014
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