Fundamentalisms

Nineteen eighty-four was a highwater mark for popular and radical politics in South Africa. It also coincided with the rejuvenation of conservative forces in the country. The upsurge in popular struggle was precipitated by the advent of the National Party-inspired tricameral parliament. In this resistance against apartheid several religious denominations (including Muslims) joined the democratic movement.
We have to take stock of various developments which took place in India in last fifty years of our independence. It is also important to take stock of developments among Muslims in this period, especially with reference to reform movements in Indian Islam.

India opted to be a secular country and this decision had several repercussions. Right at the stage of constitution making there were debates about uniform civil code. There were heated discussions. Muslim members opposed adoption of uniform civil code. Ultimately a compromised was accepted.
Women are the hidden factor in the politics of ethnicity in the Muslim communities of Northern England. The broader context to the apparent silence of women lies in a matrix of patriarchy and imperial experience, as well as the impact of Orientalism on contemporary European culture. In other words, there is a culturally embedded assumption that women should know their place, colonial peoples should know their place, and oriental women are too ethereal to have a place at all.
Bradford, England — She has had to move 19 times in the last five years. She steps outside her suburban home only after checking the street for strange cars and rehearsing the nearby footpath escapes.

Once back inside, she shoves heavy furniture under the front door handle and places a knife within quick reach.

The British-born daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she is under a death threat from her own father and brother.
During the past decade, the issue of gender relations and women’s conduct and dress has been occupying an increasingly prominent place in the discourse of Islamist movements.
“That was an army of Black men standing in front of me...They loved the message and they loved the Messenger,”
Minister Louis Farrakhan on the Million Man March
(Arizona Republic, 1996: 6)

“No march, movement or agenda that defines manhood in the narrowest terms and seeks to make women lesser partners...can be considered a positive step,”
Angela Davis on the Million Man March
(Pooley, E “To The Beat of His Drum” Time, Vol 143, No.
In the early I990s the Arab world has witnessed an extraordinary publishing phenomenon. An 800 page book on Islam, Al-kitab wa’lqur’an: qira’a mu’asira (The Book and the Qur’an: a contemporary reading), was first published by the Ahali Publishing House Damascus in 1990. The book challenges a millennium of Islamic tradition. It is highly critical of the social, political and intellectual state of contemporary Arab countries. The author has been denounced as ‘an enemy of Islam’ and as ‘a Western and Zionist agent’. To date eleven other books have been written attacking his theses.
There are few women interpreters in the history of Islam because women are seen to be the subject of the Islamic shari’a and not its legislators. Yet even the few interpreters who have appeared during the long history of Islam have been kept at the periphery, their views never allowed to influence Islamic legislation. Moreover, even men interpreters who were open-minded about women were marginalized and, in some cases, found their authority questioned.
Introduction

This research is an examination of the relationship of the Sudanese state to issues of gender, religion and class.[1] It is one component of my interest in the mechanisms the state employs for achieving both political and cultural hegemony.
Editor’s note: This famous short story by the late Ismat Chugtai (1915-1991) was written in 1941 and banned by the then State Government on charges of obscenity. Ismat Chugtai challenged this decision and won her law suit.
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