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An Islam of Her OwnReconsidering Religion and Secularism in Women's Islamic Movements$
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Sherine Hafez

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814773031

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814773031.001.0001

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An Islam of Her Own

An Islam of Her Own

Narratives of Activism

(p.77) 4 An Islam of Her Own
An Islam of Her Own

Sherine Hafez

NYU Press

This chapter presents an ethnographic account of women's experiences with Islamic activism in Cairo. Through these women's accounts and the author's observations of activism at al-Hilal, an Islamic private voluntary organization, it explores the desires and subjectivities of the activist women who work to Islamically reform Egyptian society. These findings reveal that the multiple variations in subject positionings cannot be attributed solely to a fixed and stable conception of religious disciplinary practices, i.e. Islamic practices. Although the women present their subjectivities as a consistent and homogenous unified whole, their accounts reflect inconsistencies, disruptions, and ambiguities that are linked to modernizing projects, in which the concomitant processes of secularism and Islamization shape and inform their desires.

Keywords:   Islamic activism, Muslim women, al-Hilal, activist women, social reform, Egyptian society, secularism, Islamization

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