An examination of the place of religion, especially Islam, in political and cultural life took on a special urgency after the events of 9/11. The essays in this volume concentrate on the way that Islam impacts on the everyday lives of people who reside in societies where Islam plays a large part. The relationship between Islam and women has always been seen as problematic, and by highlighting women’s negotiations with this religion, this volume seeks to understand the many and various strategies and connections that are made, and their political and cultural ramifications.
By keeping an Asian focus, the authors also seek to understand the wide panorama that Islamic societies inhabit, and the manifold political and cultural expressions that ensue from this. The effort is not only to break the image of a monolithic structure and set of beliefs, but also to highlight on-the-ground negotiations, and the ways that women in particular find spaces within Islamic structures and discourses.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.
1. Introduction: Islam, culture and women Firdous Azim 2. Islamist women of Hamas: between feminism and nationalism Islah Jad 3. Just between us: identity and representation among Muslim women Amina Jamal 4. ‘Bahar Nikalna’: Muslim women negotiate post-conflict life Diia Rajan, Deepa Dhanraj and K. Lalita 5. Piety, music and gender transformation: reconfiguring women as culture bearing markers of modernity and nationalism in Bangladesh Samia Huq 6. The visibility of a pious public Rianne Subijanto 7. Women, Islam and nation in Bengal Firdous Azim 8. Popular expressions and matters of faith Safia Azim