Gender Studies

The Islamization of English Literary Studies: A Postcolonial Approach


In today’s world where the former colonized are reshaping their relation with the colonizer, the concept of decolonizing or indigenizing education is widely discussed in postcolonial studies. Decolonizing/indigenizing education counters the western systems of knowledge’s hegemony over those of non-western systems of thought and requires the development of a new approach to education that keeps in view the indigenous societies’ socio-cultural and religious values and  traditions. The Islamization of Knowledge undertaking maintains a similar approach, but additionally requires an Islamic perspective on knowledge.  Among all western disciplines, English literature is arguably the most culturally charged and carries western value-laden ideas. This reality points to the need to look at it from Islamic perspectives. Based on this theoretical concept, this study seeks to establish the urgency and feasibility of Islamizing English (British) literary studies.

Feminism as Islamophobia: A review of misogyny charges against Islam

One important feature of Islamophobia is to caricaturize Islam as misogynistic and oppressive to women and thus to advance imperialist hegemony. This “gendered Islamophobia” stigmatizes the religion even though, compared to other world religions, its treatment of women is arguably preferable and more enlightened. Historically, one treasonous use of feminism has been to misappropriate it in order to serve colonial interests and support imperialist wars of occupation that repress subjugated people including women and children. This article argues that ignorance about, and prejudice against, Islam contribute to portraying it as a misogynistic creed. Wrong notions of Islam lead many feminists in Muslim societies to denigrate Islamic teachings and borrow Western ideas to advance women’s causes. Lampooning Islam and replicating Western feminist ideas in Muslim lands have served neither women nor feminism. Such feminist tendencies rather give a bad name to the women’s rights movement and fuel controversy, anger and resentment among Muslims.

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