Between Feminism and Islam
Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco
Publication Year: 2011
There are two major women’s movements in Morocco: the Islamists who hold shari’a as the platform for building a culture of women’s rights, and the feminists who use the United Nations’ framework to amend shari’a law. Between Feminism and Islam shows how the interactions of these movements over the past two decades have transformed the debates, the organization, and the strategies of each other.
In Between Feminism and Islam, Zakia Salime looks at three key movement moments: the 1992 feminist One Million Signature Campaign, the 2000 Islamist mass rally opposing the reform of family law, and the 2003 Casablanca attacks by a group of Islamist radicals. At the core of these moments are disputes over legitimacy, national identity, gender representations, and political negotiations for shaping state gender policies. Located at the intersection of feminism and Islam, these conflicts have led to the Islamization of feminists on the one hand and the feminization of Islamists on the other.
Documenting the synergistic relationship between these movements, Salime reveals how the boundaries of feminism and Islamism have been radically reconfigured. She offers a new conceptual framework for studying social movements, one that allows us to understand how Islamic feminism is influencing global debates on human rights.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
This book owes a great deal to the support and commitment of many women. I am grateful to Nadia Yassin, Mona Khalifi, Leila Rhiwi, Khadija Mufid, Bouchra Abdou, Ghizlane el Bahraoui, Naima Benyaich, Oufae Benabdelkader, Najia Zirari, Najat Razi, Rabea Naciri, Rachida Tahiri, Halima...
Introduction. Struggles over Political Power: Entangled Feminist and Islamist Movements
“The feminist movement is the locomotive; if it breaks down, it will take with it all democratic forces in this country.” With these words, Samira explained why she had traveled all the way north from the southern city of Marrakech to join the feminist rally in Rabat in March 2000. The trains were packed,...
1. Gender and the Nation State: Family Law, Scholars, Activists, and Dissidents
On August 20, 1992, the Moroccan public was expecting to hear King Hassan’s annual address to the nation. The women involved in signing the One Million Signature Campaign were particularly concerned with that year’s address. They knew that the king would not keep silent after their mass mobilization, much less after the...
2. Feminization of the Islamist Movements: The One Million Signature Campaign
In 1992 the feminist group UAF launched the One Million Signature Campaign. As its name indicates, this campaign aimed to collect one million signatures against the mudawwana. The petition contested this code’s consecration of gender inequalities and proposed an egalitarian codification based...
3. Reversing the Feminist Gains: The Islamist Mass Rally of 2000
The Islamist rally of March 2000 truly marked Islamist women’s entry into the formal political field. I consider this rally a movement moment because it captures simultaneously the tensions related to political alternance and the new framework in which the feminist movement had to operate. In this chapter...
4. Feminism and Islamism Redefined: In Light of the 2003 Terror Attack on Casablanca
In May 2003, five simultaneous explosions shook the city of Casablanca, killing forty-five people, including the twelve men, all Moroccans, involved in the attacks. The targets were a Spanish cultural center hosting a restaurant, a Jewish community center, a Jewish cemetery, the Belgian consulate,...
5. Subversive Veiling: Beyond the Binary of the Secular and the Religious
The terms “feminism” and “Islamism” have genealogies rooted in colonial representations about Islam and postcolonial identifications with modernity. Gender lies at the center of these representations. The question of women’s oppression in Islam was crucial to legitimizing not only the colonial enterprise...
Glossary, Abbreviations, and Organizations