The Challenges of Islamic Feminism Among Muslim Women in Israel

Monday, 16 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Nahed SHRARY, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
This study examines the development of a new feminist discourse among Islamic women in Israel and the challenges it poses in Muslim society. The pioneer research conducted in this context is the first to reveal the religious feminist school of thought, that promulgates its ideas among Muslim women in Israel, describing the challenges inherent in a feminine religious awakening of this type and proposing coping methods accordingly.

Development of feminist discourse among Muslim women is dependent on regionwide political, social and religious conditions. In Israel, it is taking shape under the dual control of the Israeli hegemony and patriarchal-religious leaders. The study examines the challenges encountered by these feminists women, in the shadow of the Israeli hegemony and the Islamic patriarchal leaders. Critical Feminist interpretation of religious texts conflicts with the patriarchal version. The Islamic religious activism these women espouse came about following a long period of collusion between the Islamic religious patriarchy and the Israeli establishment to control Sharia law, thereby entrapping women and depriving them of their civil rights.

Based on the qualitative paradigm and semi-structured interviews with ten of the organization’s male and female activists, the study revealed that the Feminist Islamic “dialect” addresses several repression structures: (1) State institutions, such as Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). (2) Muslim patriarchal religious politicization that entrench patriarchal control. (3) There is an alliance between State officials and patriarchal and religious establishment gatekeepers, such as Islamic Movement clerics, Sharia court judges.