Debating 'Islamic Feminism': Between Turkish Secular Feminist and North American Academic Critiques
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This project questions western hegemonic discourse about the non-western Other, specifically the Muslim woman subject, through a post-colonial critical point of view. It takes the debate on Islamic feminism, especially in North American academy as a departure point of a discussion relating that discourse to the western feminist arguments over the usefulness and nature of Islamic feminism. The project has two phases: One summarizes and discusses the Islamic feminism debate in North American academia while second takes secular feminism in contemporary Turkey as a field of study where the debates on Islamic feminism in North America resonate and are reproduced at the discursive level. The project analyzes the special volume of secular feminist journal Pazartesi on religion in order to ask whether a colonialist/orientalist discourse underpins the refusal to acknowledge Islamic feminism as a feminist endeavour for gender equality from within Islam for both the western academic community and secular feminist circles in Turkey.