Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature

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Miriam Cooke, Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature, New York: Routledge, 2001.

Cooke considers how Arab Muslim women have attempted to rewrite the history of their experience and identity in fictional and autobiographical literature produced since the nineteenth century, focussing mainly on late-twentieth century texts. She demonstrates how their stories challenge dominant narratives surrounding Muslim women’s experience of war, diasporic connection with ‘home’, and relationship to a native language; offers a definition of Islamic feminism, and goes on to discuss how its practitioners may use an Islamic feminist discourse to criticise Muslim societies from within.