Interview and articles from Riffat Hassan, the progressive theologian and academic specialized in Islamic sciences. Riffat Hassan defends a more humane, democratic and feminist interpretation of Islam in general and of the Quran and other sacred texts in particular (in French).
While the increasing
internationalization of feminism provides new prospects for women’s solidarity
throughout the world, theoretical perspectives such as identity politics,
cultural relativism and postmodernism emphasize the uniqueness, particularism,
and localism of each and every feminist movement.
Feminist critiques of
gender-neutral approaches to the study of labour markets have demonstrated that
gender relations do not simply articulate with, but are part of, the very fabric
of labour markets as they have developed. That is, gender is a constitutive
element in the formation of labour markets.
Following independence in
1991, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan has been undergoing sweeping
social, political and economic changes, all deeply affecting the country's
women. However, women's problems continue to be ignored, while the role of women
has become a battleground between the various forces, including fundamentalism,
which seek to fill the ideological vacuum left by the collapse of Soviet power.
The aim of
this paper is to explore some contradictory implications of nationalist projects
in post-colonial societies. It examines the extent to which elements of national
identity and cultural difference are articulated as forms of control over women
and which infringe upon their rights as enfranchised
Despite the extensive literature on nationalism, there are
relatively few systematic attempts to analyse women's integration into
nationalist projects. The little there is conveys seemingly contradictory
Once upon a time there was a people
called North which was white and rich, and a people named South which was
non-white and poor. The people North exploited, attacked and killed the people
South according to their needs.
Given the rising tide of
Islamisation in Muslim countries and its call for wider recognition of Shari'a
as the primary legal basis of Muslim nations, concerns about Shari'a's conflict
with human rights standards must be addressed.
The study of women in the Middle East, now well into its second decade, has produced
an impressive corpus of papers and periodical articles. For purely practical
reasons, this review focuses on writings in English, in a selective rather than
all-inclusive manner. The analysis of women in the Middle East has not always
been undertaken with reference to Islam, but a significant body of works,
influenced partly by the Islamic resurgence, coincident with the rise of the
study of women as a separate field, does have reference to Islam.
Riffat Hassan, a native of Pakistan, received her doctorate
in Islamic Philosophy at Durham, England. Since 1976 she has been a professor in
Religious Studies at University of Louisville, Kentucky. Currently, she is a
visiting lecturer at the Divinity School Harvard University, where she is
working on a forthcoming book entitled "Equal Before Allah". The following
interview was recorded on April 16, 1986 and formed the basis for a November,
1987, Asian Communiqué radio program produced by Betty Milstead of the Center of
Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin.