In the post-9/11 environment, the figure of the Muslim woman is at the forefront of global politics. Her representation is often articulated within a rights discourse owing much to liberal-secular sensibilities--notions of freedom, equality, rational thinking, individualism, and modernization. Muslim Women's Rights explores how these liberal-secular sensibilities inform, shape, and foreclose public discussion on questions of Islam and gender. The book draws on postcolonial, antiracist, and transnational feminist studies in order to analyze public and legal debates surrounding proposed shari'ah tribunals in Canada. It examines the cultural and epistemological suppositions underlying common assumptions about Islamic laws; explores how these assumptions are informed by the Western progress narrative and women's rights debates; and asks what forms of politics these enable and foreclose. The book assesses the influence of secularism on the ontology, epistemology, and ethics afforded to Islam in the West, and begins to trace possibilities by which Islamic family law might be productively addressed on its own terms. Muslim Women's Rights is a significant contribution to the fields of both Islam and gender and the critical study of secularism.
Formatted Contents Note
Cover; Half Title; Series Information; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Table of contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; Glossary of Arabic words; 1 Liberal-secular sensibilities and a genealogy of the Ontario Shari'ah tribunals; Introduction; Framing the debates; Sources and method; Theoretical frameworks; The Arbitration Act, S.O. 1991; Historicizing the proposed Ontario Shari'ah tribunals; Marion Boyd report; The Boyd Report and the Arbitration Act; The Boyd report and consultations; Arc of the book; Notes; Works cited 2 From Orientalism to neo-orientalism: Discourses of race and imperial hegemony in the name of gender equalityIntroduction; The liberal empire, the language of rights, and the category of gender; A feminist compulsion, or, sharing the white man's burden; Discourses of neo-orientalism and cultural authenticity; Hyperpatriarchal chronicles; Insider saviors; Conclusion; Notes; Works cited; 3 Liberalism, the court system, and multiculturalism: Examining epistemic claims; Introduction; The normalization of liberalism: Are Muslim women really equal? The court system, the assertion of vulnerability, and protectionTensions of multicultural discourses; Taming multiculturalism or expressing bigotry; Conclusion; Notes; Works cited; 4 Secularism and its discontents: Social hierarchies that matter; Introduction; Secularism as a worldview; Secularism, religion, and social hierarchies; Civilized rational secularism/uncivilized irrational religion; Public secularism/private religion: The feminization of religion; Nonpatriarchal progressive secularism/patriarchal repressive religious; Secularism under the gaze of a religious mind; Conclusion; Notes Works cited5 Aversion or conversion: A missed opportunity?; Introduction; Situating the term "Shari'ah"; Opponents and the proposed Ontario Shari'ah tribunals; Proponents and the proposed Ontario Shari'ah tribunals; Women, the law of inheritance, and the proposed Shari'ah tribunals; Women and divorce issues, and the proposed Shari'ah tribunals; Why insist on Shari'ah tribunals?; Conclusion; Notes; Works cited; 6 Ideology, ontology, and epistemology: Shari'ah debates and the Tawhidi (Unitary) weltanschauung; Introduction; Is the declaration of human rights universal?; Ideological differences Ontological differencesEpistemological differences; Not a case of cultural relativism; The Tawhidi weltanschauung, Shari'ah law, and the Islam and gender discourse; Conclusion; Notes; Works cited; 7 Conclusions: Signs are enough for those who think; Introduction; Reading the signs; Notes; Works cited; Index
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