This paper attempts to critically situate the discourse of Islamic feminism and its activist incarnations such as the Malaysian group Sisters in Islam within an analytical framework that seeks to look beyond the all-too-common trope of “multiple modernities.” The paper examines the conditions of possibility enabling such groups and discourses, looking in particular at the modern nation-state, and the imbrications of social discourses of rights and religious discourses of individual belief within this state. I argue that the repertoires of reasoning called forth by Sisters in Islam partake in the objectifying rationalities of the Malaysian state when it comes to religious knowledge, with this knowledge now situated as a legitimate object of civic, legal and state intervention.
“People Like Us” in Pursuit of God and Rights: Islamic Feminist Discourse and Sisters in Islam in Malaysia.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 11(1), 40-55.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol11/iss1/4