Muslim Women and Misogyny

Myths and Misunderstandings

June 2024 9781911723011 258pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers

Description

Muslim women are among the most fetishised and objectified groups in society today. Much is assumed and imagined about their lives, and it is all too easy to succumb to orientalist myths. For too long, Muslim women have been reduced to two-dimensional stereotypes: empowered heroines rejecting patriarchal religious teachings, or victims of a misogyny believed to run deep within Islam. But why is this neatly packaged view so pervasive? Are oppression and subjugation actually so central to Muslim women’s lives? How is this misogyny influenced by white supremacy and Islamophobia? And where do the biggest threats to Muslim women’s freedom and safety really come from?

In this bold new book, Samia Rahman explores the relationships between misogyny and Muslim women’s experiences in Britain today, untangling complex issues such as Muslim feminism, representation, toxic masculinity, marriage and sexuality. Based on extensive interviews with both women and men from Muslim communities, she offers a powerful, much-needed response to the misappropriation of female voices, revealing the many faces of Muslim womanhood within the UK.

Reviews

‘An insightful and urgent exploration of the many stereotypes Muslim women must navigate. Brilliantly researched, it cuts through the noise of white feminism to present the diverse experiences within Muslim communities. A book that Muslims and non-Muslims alike will find engaging and relatable.’ — Shahed Ezaydi, Stylist magazine; author of The Othered Woman: How White Feminism Harms Muslim Women

‘Thoughtful, generous, intellectually curious. Avoiding the temptation to arrive at a neat, distilled conclusion, Rahman surveys the landscape of contemporary society and its relationship to the vast and diverse swathe of women clustered under the umbrella of “Muslim”. Full of different perspectives, offering gems of insight, and delivered accessibly and comfortingly, as if talking with a dear friend over a cup of chai.’ — Yassmin Abdel-Magied, broadcaster, writer and social advocate

‘An intelligent and forward-thinking examination of the unique, lasting effects of misogyny on Muslim women, and the long history of protest, struggle and creative resistance used to fight back. Rahman rejects the narratives by which Muslim women have been framed across political divides, allowing them to tell their own stories, guided by hope, courage and optimism. An invaluable reminder of the necessity of courage and defiance if lasting change is to be achieved.’ — Hussein Kesvani, journalist, producer and author of Follow Me, Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims

‘Here are smart, irrepressible, thoroughly independent, diverse women, making waves, writing their own narratives, upending stereotypes, changing their families, communities and the nation. I wish I’d had their courage and imagination when I was younger. Samia Rahman is among the best of them. One of the most insightful and optimistic books I have ever read on British Muslim women.’ — Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, journalist and author

‘Muslim women have been the hot topic for the past few decades, if not centuries. Samia Rahman leads us beautifully on a bold and brave journey, connecting observations about current social debates with their impact on the intimate and personal.’ — Leyla Jagiella, cultural anthropologist, activist and author of Among the Eunuchs: A Muslim Transgender Journey

‘The book I wish I’d had growing up. Rahman’s voice resonates with candour and painfully won wisdom, offering a new way of engaging with the Muslimah experience and inviting us into behind-closed-doors conversations that few dare to have.’ — Medina Tenour Whiteman, poet, translator, musician and author of The Invisible Muslim: Journeys Through Whiteness and Islam

Author(s)

Samia Rahman is a writer, scholar and journalist, whose research focuses on Muslim women, patriarchy and structures of power. The former director of the Muslim Institute and former deputy editor of the quarterly Critical Muslim (also available from Hurst), she is studying for a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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