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MENA hosts discussion on Islamic Feminism

Updated: Mar 27

On 18 September 2019, MENA Student Association hosted two well-known feminists to discuss the topic of Islamic feminism.


Islamic Feminism critiques the patriarchy by historicizing and reinterpreting Islamic sources of scriptural authority. Yet, some secular feminists have repeatedly ruled out any possible compatibility between feminism and Islam. To draw a less essentialist picture and in an attempt to untangle the complexity of the topic we invited well-known feminists Miriam El Maslouhi and Alina Jabbari. Mariam El Maslouhi is a Moroccan/Dutch Feminist. She works as a policy officer for a left-wing fractie in The Hague and produces several podcasts. She is the Co-Founder of the Dipsaus Podcast, found her voice through social media and has written articles about Morocco in English and Dutch. Mariam has a passion for opinion, children, protest movements and music.

Alina Jabbari is currently completing her second MA, specializing in Islamic liberation theology and Islamic feminism. She is the founder of Haar Minaret, a safe spiritual haven that aims to address the need for a safe and inclusive Islamic space. She identifies as Dutch and Kurdish and opposes notions of Arab supremacy within Muslim communities. She is passionate about Muslim-Jewish interfaith work, loves reading and Kurdish dance.

The discussion was moderated by Eilyaa Abdin, a Palestinian feminist who grew up in the Middle-East as an Arab and Muslim woman. Currently based in France, she is completing a masters in Gender Studies. She is a co-host of the Salty Caliphate Podcast, an intersectional podcast that aims to provide a more complex understanding of the Middle-East.

During the discussion various aspects were addressed and clarified for the audience. Further, many scholars, who have contributed new perspectives to the topic of Islamic Feminism, were mentioned during the discussion. For those interested in further reading, we have compiled a list:

  • Asma Barlas

  • Fatima Mernissi

  • Amina Wadud

  • Saba Mahmoud

  • Leila Ahmed

  • Nawal El Saadawi

  • Mona Eltahawy

  • Lila Abu-Lughod

  • Asma Lamrabet

Once again, we would like to thank our panelists, Eilyaa and everyone who attended the event for their presence and the insightful discussion!


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