Women 's Studies : An Egyptian American Scholar On Islamic Feminism And Islam Essay

1083 WordsDec 13, 20165 Pages
Leila Ahmed born in 1940 is the first professor of Women’s Studies in Religion at Harvard University. As an Egyptian-American scholar on Islamic feminism and Islam, Ahmed has published a number of highly informative works addressing the complexities of feminism in Muslim life. Ahmed’s previous works include Women and Gender in Islam. (1993) explores the role women and gender play from the Pre-Islamic Era in the Middle East through to the modern world that we know today. The issue of veiling is an ongoing debate and one in which invokes a great emotion among many people. Her latest work explores the history of the fall and rise of the Muslim veil in the erudite study ‘A Quiet Revolution’. The study logically details the changing attitudes to veiling in Egypt in the 1940’s and 50’s through to its resurgence in the 1970’s and then its impact in the US post 9/11. Written from Ahmed’s own perspective as a feminist and as a non-wearer of the veil at a time when it was seen as quite natural not to wear a hijab. The reason for the study arises from Ahmed’s move to Cambridge in the US and her amazement at seeing a public gathering of Muslim women of which “were in hijab [which] was still exceedingly rare.” (1). In summary, the research leads to a complete turnaround of events in Ahmed’s thoughts that the wearing of the veil is a symbol of oppression to the times and a backwards step of gaining equality. As a non-wearer of the veil Ahmed, works from a non-bias viewpoint to get the
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