EUME Workshop
Do 26 Apr 2007 – Mi 02 Mai 2007

Reconsidering "Islamic Feminism": Deconstruction or the Quest of Authenticity?

Gudrun Krämer (Freie Universität Berlin), Raja Rhouni (Université Muhammad V / EUME) and Katrin Simon (Freie Universität Berlin)

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Villa Jaffé, Wallotstr. 10, 14193 Berlin

Berlin, April 26-28, 2007 & May 2, 2007 

Program

 

Depending on how we refer to the phenomenon, as “Islamic feminism,” “gender jihad/ijtihad”, or even “Islamic gender critique”, there is a growing global movement of women and men who are re-reading the foundational and canonical Islamic texts from a gender perspective which does not essentialize “Islam”. This movement is part of a “new” critical Islamic scholarship engaged in re-dynamizing Islamic thought within the framework of a double critique of modernity and Islamic orthodoxies. The centrality of the gender issue to the larger question of whether or not “Islam” fits into European norms of secularity puts “Islamic feminism” at the centre of attention well beyond Muslim majority societies. 

We envisioned the workshop to be a space for intellectual exchange and co-operation among more established and younger scholars on issues related to the theoretical and practical aspects of “Islamic feminism”.

Three focal points defined this workshop: we were convinced that any re-consideration of “Islamic gender norms” has to include men as well as women. For this reason, both female and male scholars were invited to discuss the issues at stake. Similarly, we envisioned this workshop to cover as many of the diverse backgrounds Muslims are currently living in as possible. Last not least, we believed that discussions should involve intellectuals as well as activists, or scholars-cum-activists, as their different perspectives are able to complement each other.

By this, we hoped to achieve a more realistic view of the possibilities and limitations of “Islamic feminism”. It was to be seen whether this term, used in the singular, makes any sense at all. One of the issues to be discussed during the workshop was whether we can speak of ONE movement (as we think we do): where are the overlaps, where is the minimal consensus, but also where are the frictions and the tensions among thinkers and activists of diverse backgrounds? 

 

Schedule: 

Thursday, April 26
7.30 pm - 9 pm
Keynote Speech
Amina Wadud (Visiting Scholar, Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley), Islamic Feminisms: Authority and Authenticity
Welcome: Claus-Peter Haase (Museum für Islamische Kunst)
Introduction: Gudrun Krämer (Freie Universität Berlin) 

Friday, April 27 
9.30 am - 12.30 pm 
Introduction: Raja Rhouni (Fellow of EUME), Katrin Simon (Freie Universität Berlin) 
Session 1: Islamic Feminist Hermeneutics: Which Methodologies and Approaches for Which Purposes?
Omaima Abou Bakr (Qatar University): Towards an Islamic View of Gender: Qur'anic Paradigms and Feminist Consciousness
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (Humanistic University, Utrecht): Turning a Patriarchal Text into a Feminist One: The Absent Issues in the Debate
Kecia Ali (Boston University): Woman's Body, God's Word: Sex, Gender, and Discourse in the Qur'an 
Sa’diyya Shaikh (University of Cape Town, South Africa): Cultivating Feminist Trajectories in Islamic Ethics 
Chair: Raja Rhouni

2.30 pm - 6 pm
Session 2: How is Hermeneutics Translated into Practice, or When Does “ijtihad” Become “jihad”?
Rabeya Müller (Zentrum für Islamische Frauenforschung, Cologne): Gender Justice –Feminism and Islam
Souad Eddouada (Ibn Tofail University, Morocco): Implementing Islamic Feminism. The Case of Moroccan Family Code Reform
Muhammad Umar (Arizona State University, Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg 2006/7): Gender Issues in Islamic Discourses in Nigeria
Norani Othman (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia): Creating and Promoting Islamic Feminism in Malaysia: Approaches and Methodologies of Interpretation for Reform and Renewal
Chair: Katrin Simon

Saturday, April 28
10.30 am - 1.30 pm
Session 3: Islamic Feminism Between Regionalism and Transnationalism
Samira Ahmed (Channel 4 News, London): Reporting Feminism and Fundamentalism
Hamideh Mohagheghi (Hanover): Women, Universal Justice and Regional Traditions
Hoda Salah (Frankfurt): Islamic Feminism between Regionalism and Transnationalism
Abdennur Prado (Islamic Council of Spain): Islamic Feminism and Global Citizenship
Chair: Gudrun Krämer

5.30 pm - 7.30 pm
Film: Islam Unveiled (by Samira Ahmed / a Hardcash Production)
Afterwards: Discussion with the Author / Moderation: Ziba Mir-Hosseini

8 pm - 9.30 pm
Public Panel Discussion: "Islamic Feminism": Prospects and Limitations
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (Humanistic University, Utrecht)
Ziba Mir-Hosseini (London)
Norani Othman (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)
Sa'diyya Shaikh (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Chair: Gudrun Krämer (Freie Universität Berlin)

Wednesday, May 2
6 pm
Reading / Lesung
Hilal Sezgin (Barnstedt, D)
Alawiyya Sobh (Beirut)
Lesung in Arabisch und Deutsch. Die Übersetzungen von Alawiyya Sobh liest Leila Chammaa.

8 pm
Panel Discussion: Images of Women and Islam
Hilal Sezgin und Alawiyya Sobh
Chair: Shereen Abou El Naga (Cairo University)

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