Between Salafism and Feminism


"The Islamic Revolution in 1979 that eliminated all the women's rights that feminists fought for, was also supported by female followers of Khomeini. Today it is female activists in the Arab Spring countries from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ennahda, and different Salafi organizations, who are going to the streets to fight against equal rights for men and women, and promote gender segregation at univerisities and the complete veiling of women," says Susanne Schröter, Professor of Ethnology at Goethe University in Frankfurt and Principal Investigator in the Excellence cluster "Development of Normative Systems". She is giving a talk on this topic as part of the RWTH Aachen Leonardo Project. The event is on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at 6pm, in Hörsaal AH V, Ahornstraße 55 in Aachen.


Schröter will discuss the goals, strategies, and actors of the most important regligious and secular women's movements, in order to illustrate the current controversies about a new gender order. There are similar antifeminist women's movements in the entire Islamic world and lately among female Muslims in Europe and the USA. Schröter says that women's rights activists in all predominately Muslim countries are simultaneously promoting the implementation of the UN Women's Rights charta, the elimination of discriminatory laws, and are fighting against domestic violence. The professor shoes that many of the socalled Islamic feminists, are re-interpreting the Koran and the Sunna, in order to found their goals in Islam.

Schröter has been able to complete many ethnographic research projects in Indonesia, Morocco, and Germany, that address the cultural and political transformations in the Islamic world. She is currently working on a mongraph about Islamic feminism and women's movements in the Islamic world. The monograph is expected to be published in 2013. Two academic anthologies are also planned, that are shaped by questions stemming from "Gender and Islam".