Submission to Crossing Borders Special Issue
Feminism and the Islamic Revival: Freedom as a Practice of Belonging
Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2012
© by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Crossing Borders Special Issue
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 323–340, Spring 2013
How to Cite
Weir, A. (2013), Feminism and the Islamic Revival: Freedom as a Practice of Belonging. Hypatia, 28: 323–340. doi: 10.1111/hypa.12012
- Issue online: 12 APR 2013
- Version of Record online: 6 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 30 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 NOV 2011
In her book, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Saba Mahmood analyzes the practices of the women in the mosque movement in Cairo, Egypt. Mahmood argues that in order to recognize the participants as agents, we need to question the assumption that agency entails resistance to norms; moreover, we need to question the feminist allegiance to an unquestioned ideal of freedom. In this paper, I argue that rather than giving up the ideal of freedom, we can explore the possibility that there are different conceptions of freedom, and that the agency of the women in the mosque movement can be understood through a conception of freedom as a practice of connection, or belonging. I develop this alternative paradigm through discussions of four conceptions of freedom: Foucault's theory of agency as self-creation, positive freedom, communitarian freedom, and freedom as resistance.