How “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” Saved Me

[Source].

“This book is about what lies behind such deceptively simple responses to problems we think we already understand or believe that we should act on even before we understand.” - Lila Abu-LughodWhen Muslimah Media Watch started out in 2007, one of the goals was to be able to create a platform for self-identified Muslim women to be able to critique portrayals and stories about us and our communities in mainstream media. Comment and speaking for ourselves was a novel concept.  There continue to b … [Read more...]

The Women that Need Saving: A Reflection on Lila Abu-Lughod’s “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?”

domuslimwomen

My mother belongs to the Zapotec region of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is one of the few among my relatives who identifies as “indigenous.” Colonialism in Mexico, and perhaps in many countries in Latin America, was different in that one of the successes of the colonial era was the creation of the caste system and its everlasting effects on indigenous populations. Despite the fact that 200 years have passed since Mexican independence from Spain, I grew up with nationalist discourses that de … [Read more...]

Use a “Muslim Woman”: Reasserting Dutch Values 101

Source: Hivos.

A few weeks ago, I went to a small, local cinema in my city to catch a film. I’ve always liked going to this particular cinema because they screen international and independent films – a fresh change from the standard Hollywood fare at the bigger cinema.The film was about to start, so I quickly ducked into the ladies’. After I washed my hands, imagine my shock at seeing the following poster pasted behind the door:The text on the poster says (in Dutch): “This woman is a symbol for all … [Read more...]

Review: Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

Cover of Do Muslim Women Need Saving? [Source].

Editor’s note: Many of us at MMW have previously cited Lila Abu-Lughod’s 2002 article “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” in some of our blog posts, and we were excited to see the recent release of her book of the same title.  This is the first of a series of responses to the book by a few different MMW writers.In the introduction to her recent book Do Muslim Women Need Saving?, Lila Abu-Lughod writes: “I am often bewildered by what I read or hear about ‘the Muslim woman’” (4). For those of us who … [Read more...]

A Broken Record on Muslim Women’s Salvation

I woke up one morning last week feeling betrayed. I couldn’t pinpoint the source of this overwhelming nausea of deception, but there it was, swimming in the pools of last night’s dinner mixed in with some proverbial bile.Luckily for my body and eternal salvation, I received a quick diagnosis for those feelings of betrayal by writer Ida Lichter, who recently wrote an article for The Australian, later picked up by The Huffington Post [Religion], entitled “Feminists Betrayed Islamic Women.” In t … [Read more...]

Missionary Rhetoric: A Cry of Need from Lands of Darkness

When Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid's Tale, a feminist dystopia set in a world run by a totalitarian theocracy, she said that she hadn't "invented anything," but taken her inspiration from fundamentalist Christianity in the United States, and the Islamic Revolution in Iran, among other things.In the context of the war on Afghanistan, Mary Adams wrote in World Literature Today that there is a need to "reread The Handmaid's Tale after the Taliban:" For those of us who read The Handmaid Tale … [Read more...]


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