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Beyond the Veil


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Table of Contents

New Introduction: Why Does the Veil Scare Europe? 7 Introduction: Roots of the Modern Situation 19 Part One The Traditional Muslim View of Women and Their Place in the Social Order 35 1. The Muslim Concept of Active Female Sexuality 37 2. Regulation of Female Sexuality in the Muslim Social Order 57 3. Sex and Marriage Before Islam 77 Part Two Anomic Effects of Modernization on Male-Female Dynamics 99 4. The Modern Situation: Moroccan Data 101 5. Sexual Anomie As Revealed by the Data 110 6. Husband and Wife 122 7. The Mother-in-Law 135 8. The Meaning of Spatial Boundaries 151 9. The Economic Basis of Sexual Anomie in Morocco 162 Conclusion: Women's Liberation in Muslim Countries 181 Notes 195 Index 215

About the Author

Fatema Mernissi is an internationally distinguished Moroccan feminist and sociologist. After completing a degree in Political Science at University Mohammed V, Mernissi was awarded a scholarship at the Sorbonne in Paris. She later moved to the United States to attend Brandeis University, where she earned a doctorate in Sociology. After completing her education, Mernissi returned to Morocco where she became a professor of Sociology at University Mohammed V in Rabat. Mernissi has served as a visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. She has written extensively on the status of women in Islam and the Arab world. As a leading advocate for women's rights in the Muslim world, Mernissi is praised for her insightful commentaries on the complex social and political realities of Islamic culture. Her works have been translated into thirty languages and include Islam and Democracy: Fear of the Modern World, The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam and Women's Rebellion and Islamic Memory. In 2003, Mernissi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature along with Susan Sontag.


'Required reading' Elizabeth Fernea, The University of Texas at Austin 'If a reader were to select only one book in order to gain insight into women's status and prospects in Islamic society, this study should be the one chosen for its clarity, honesty, depth of knowledge and thought-provoking qualities.' Arab Book World 'A fascinating book' Scotland on Sunday 'This classic work not only describes life beneath the veil but analyses it ... from within.' Tribune 'Fatima Mernissi is a true feminist, candid, articulate and persuasive. One of the most fascinating and instructive features of Beyond the Veil is the way Ms Mernissi approaches her subject, and the distinction she draws between sexual inequality in the West and in Islam.' The Jerusalem Post Magazine 'Mernissi's book should be considered as one of the most successful analyses of theposition of women in a contemporary Islamic society.' Ar Or, Archiv Orientani: Quaterly Journal of African, Asian and Latin American Studies, 1989

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