Islamic Feminism: Roots, Development and Policies



The current and future impact of Islamic feminism within the political framework of the Arab world is profound. In order to understand the current relevance of Islamic feminism, this article first examines the roots of feminism in the Arab world, analyzing the fundamental differences and commonalities that Islamic feminism has with western feminism. The diverse categories of Islamic feminism are then discussed, focusing on universalism within the framework of hermeneutic Islamic discourse. Islamic feminism is then reconstructed around its methodologies. This article asserts that the hermeneutic strain of Islamic feminism is the overarching paradigm to be employed, as it presents women's rights within the context of the Qur'an and women's right to perform ijtihad (personal interpretation based on logical reasoning), rejecting patriarchal influences. Islamic feminism and its place within the rise of modern Islam theorizing is then shown as a viable explanatory factor in the recent shaping of political and cultural discussions on the role of religion in the political sphere, especially in the context of the Arab Spring.