Beyond emancipation: Subjectivities and ethics among women in Europe's Islamic revival communities

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37 Scopus citations


This article addresses the complex reflections regarding gender relations expressed by women active in the contemporary Islamic revival movements in Europe (especially France and Germany). Much recent research conducted among these groups aims to counter the rather negative accounts prevailing in public discourses on gender and Islam. This literature notably argues that women's conscious turn to Islam is not necessarily a reaffirmation of male domination, but that it constitutes a possibility for agency and empowerment. However, when faced with certain traditionalist positions defended by these women, even this well-meaning literature seems precarious, left in a state of uncertainty. Taking this puzzlement as a point of departure, this contribution aims to think about the dilemmas involved in articulating a language for women's dignity and self-realization, which competes with dominant languages of equality, individual rights and autonomy. This project is rendered even more intricate by the fact that these pious Muslim women socialized in Europe have also been partly fashioned by the liberal discourses against which they want to position themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-64
Number of pages18
JournalFeminist Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Europe
  • Islamic revival
  • ethics
  • rights
  • subjectivity
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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