The Challenge of Defining Muslim Feminism

Huff Post: Erika L. Sanchez.

According to Patel, one of the most controversial issues among Muslim feminists today is the notion of native informants, which is how she describes women who become known as authorities on Muslim issues, such as so-called honour killings. She believes it’s dangerous when any individual is seen as an expert who can explain all Muslim issues to the rest of the world. “It’s poisonous and very damaging,” she notes, when one person is seen to speak on behalf of all Muslim women.

CHICAGO — The term “Muslim feminist” may sound paradoxical to many as a result of the media’s tendency to portray Muslim women as victims. As a Latina who often feels excluded from mainstream feminist discourse, I became interested in Muslim feminists when I noticed they were also absent in popular women’s publications. To understand these unheard voices, I arranged interviews with a number of Muslim Americans last week and discovered that these women were far from being victims.


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