Between Feminism and Islam

9780816651337: Hardback
Release Date: 5th July 2011

9780816651344: Paperback
Release Date: 5th July 2011

Dimensions: 149 x 229

Number of Pages: 248

Series Social Movements, Protest and Contention

University of Minnesota Press

Between Feminism and Islam

Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco

How feminists and Islamists have constituted each other’s agendas in Morocco

Hardback / £58.00
Paperback / £18.99

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.


Introduction: Struggles over Political Power: Entangled Feminist and Islamist Movements
1. Gender and the Nation State: Family Law, Scholars, Activists, and Dissidents
2. Feminization of the Islamist Movements: The One Million Signature Campaign
3. Reversing the Feminist Gains: The Islamist Mass Rally of 2000
4. Feminism and Islamism Redefined: In Light of the 2003 Terror Attack on Casablanca
5. Subversive Veiling: Beyond the Binary of the Secular and the Religious


Zakia Salime is assistant professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University.

"Between Feminism and Islam challenges the common assumption in the media and the academy that Islamism and feminism are quintessentially opposed ideologies. Through a careful sociological and ethnographic account of Moroccan feminist and Islamist women’s organizations, Zakia Salime shows how the two have transformed each other through decades of activism, debate, and engagement. This is an indispensable book for sociologists of gender, religion, politics, feminism, the Middle East, and Islam." —Saba Mahmood, author of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject

"This balanced and informative analysis of the decades long entanglements between secular feminists and Islamist women activists in Morocco is a radical departure from conventional understandings of a polarized political scene. Salime reveals how political actors have responded to and learned from each other, changing strategies, ideologies, and visions, putting the debates and practices of women activists in dynamic historical time and changing world contexts, including the war on terror." —Lila Abu-Lughod, author of Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East