Dossier: Feminism in Islam

Rabeya Müller (photo: Ulrike Hummel)

Portrait of the theologian Rabeya Müller

Equality in the name of Islam

The women's movement within Islam is gaining momentum worldwide. One of the most influential German Muslim women in this respect is the theologian Rabeya Müller. With her clear views and breaks with taboo, she is pushing for change within the Muslim community in GermanyMore

Joumana Haddad (photo: Ceyda Nurtsch)

Interview with Joumana Haddad


"I don't believe in female solidarity"

The Lebanese journalist and writer Joumana Haddad is considered one of the most courageous women's rights activists in the Arab world. In this interview with Ceyda Nurtsch, she talks about the erotic magazine "Jasad", feminist stereotypes and why the "Arab Spring" was just another winterMore

Women protesting outside the parliament in Rabat on 17 March 2012 after the suicide of Amina Filali (photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Women's rights in Morocco


Gender equality on paper only

Ever since a young woman took her own life two years ago after being raped and married off to her aggressor, equal rights between men and women have been the subject of heated discussion in Morocco. A set of laws that is riddled with contradictions further fuels the debate. By Susanne KaiserMore

Zahra Ali (photo: private)

Book review: Zahra Ali's "Islamic Feminisms"

Female emancipation based on the spirit of Sharia

In 2012, the French sociologist Zahra Ali published a book entitled "Féminismes islamiques" (Islamic Feminisms), a compilation of ground-breaking articles by female Muslim scholars and activists from around the world. It has just been published in German translation. Claudia Kramatschek read the bookMore

Abdullah Hamidaddin wearing his daughter's abaya (photo: Abdullah Hamidaddin)

The hijab


Power and the headscarf

Abdullah Hamidaddin, a writer and commentator on religion and the Middle East, wore his daughter's hijab to remind people that the hijab was originally an expression of power, and to point out that if women had ruled, things might have been very differentMore

Leila Bekhti (photo: Tiberius Film)

Sexual Repression in the Arab World


Anguish, Love and Poetry

The film "The Source" tells the story of women living in a North African village who enter into a "love strike" because they are fed up with doing all the work. In conversation with Paul Katzenberger, director Radu Mihăileanu talks about marital rape, parallels with the West and the poetic qualities of the Arabic language. By Paul KatzenbergerMore

Information evening on genital mulitation at the Coptic Center for Training and Development, an NGO in Beni Sueif (photo: Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images)

Genital Mutilation in Egypt

Control over Female Sexuality

Egypt is the only country in North Africa where the practise of female genital mutilation remains widespread – despite an official ban and many public information campaigns for women. Anna Kölling reports from CairoMore

An Egyptian demonstrator in Cairo during a protest against the Muslim Brotherhood (photo: picture-alliance/landov)

The Muslim Brotherhood and Women's Rights in Egypt

A Project of Patriarchal Extremism

In this essay, the historian and feminist Margot Badran outlines how the Muslim Brotherhood has called into question a UN document that seeks to end violence against women and with it the democratic achievements of the Egyptian revolutionMore

Femen campaign 'Topless Jihad Day' (photo: picture-alliance/abaca)

Women Muslims Outraged by Femen Action

Exposing Misunderstandings

With their "Topless Jihad Day", Femen activists wanted to demonstrate for the rights of Muslim women. The problem is that Muslim women see no need for protest. "Nudity does not free us" was their answer in an online campaign. Femen activists, in turn, diagnose Muslim women as suffering from Stockholm syndrome. By Nadia PantelMore

Amina Wadud (photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Amina Wadud

''Islam Belongs to All Its Believers''

Amina Wadud is an American scholar of Islam with a progressive focus on Koran exegesis. In 2005, she led Friday prayers in the US, which not only broke with tradition, it also triggered debate and Muslim juristic discourse on the issue of female imams. Interview by Abderrahmane AmmarMore

A general view shows, members of the Shoura Council during a meeting, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 25 September 2011 (photo: dpa)

Women in Saudi Arabia

Breaking Barriers

With the recent appointment of women to the Saudi Shura Council, journalist Maha Akeel delves into the growing advancements of women in Saudi ArabiaMore

Close-up of a young woman wearing a headscarf (photo: dpa)

Islamic Feminism and Reformist Islam

Against the Politicisation of the Koran

Muslim feminists such as Amina Wadud use the Koran to argue in favour of women's rights and against the patriarchal system. But unfortunately, as Nimet Seker writes, some feminists are falling into the apologist trap and running the risk of politically exploiting IslamMore

Women demonstrating in Cairo in February 2012 (photo: Ahmed Abo Elqasem/DW)

Feminism in the Arab World

The Silent Revolution

The predominant image of Arab societies in the West is that of patriarchal systems, oppressive regimes and women in passive, subordinate roles. Gema Martín Muñoz argues that in order to fully understand the diversity and complexity of the Arab world and the changes taking place there, the West should take a closer look at how women's lives and roles are changing and at the women that are making things happenMore

Women demonstrating in Cairo against the Supreme Military Council (photo: dpa)

Women's Rights and the Arab Spring

The Female Face of the Revolution

One year on from the uprisings that toppled dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak, the revolution is still going on for many women activists in Egypt and Tunisia. Martina Sabra's essay takes a look at how strong their socio-political influence really isMore

Women protesting against male violence on Tahrir Square on 20 December 2011 (photo: AP)

Mansoura Ez Eldin on Women's Rights in Egypt

Between Hammer and Anvil

In her essay, the well-known Egyptian writer Mansoura Ez Eldin sketches a gloomy picture of post-revolutionary social conditions in her homeland, where she says women are facing increasing political marginalisation and being robbed of their basic rightsMore

Irshad Manji (photo: Christoph Dreyer)

Interview with Irshad Manji

''I Consider it Wrong to Say that Muslims are Incapable of Reform''

The liberal feminist Muslim and bestselling author Irshad Manji calls for a reconciliation between faith and freedom. Christoph Dreyer spoke with her about civil courage, the dangers of moderation and her new book Allah, Liberty and LoveMore