Resisting Orientalist/Islamophobic Feminisms

(Re)Framing the politics of difference

Authored by: Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui , Shadee Abdi

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138329188
eBook ISBN: 9780429448317
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The relationship between “Muslim,” “Arab,” and “Feminism” that has been deemed antonymic is currently a contested zone due to the resurgence of the popular Orientalist and Islamophobic stereotypical racial discourses on Arab and Muslim subjectivities. The liberal deployment of a rhetoric that conflates Arab and Muslim womanhood with victimization also positions a mainstream “American” feminist as the feminist subject par excellence. In this essay, we first cover the literature on Orientalist/Islamophobic feminism that has “shaped” Arab and Muslim feminism as oxymoronic and nonexistent, emphasizing the events of 9/11. Second, we draw on theories of women of color to demonstrate how they forged an inclusive visibility for Arab and Muslim feminism. Third, we theorize Muslim feminism as a movement that embarks on new spaces to understand the multiplicity and specificity of subjectivities within Muslim and Arab communities (rethinking feminism). Ultimately, we argue Muslim feminists create a middle space “in between” the binaries to produce alternate discourses to challenge and disrupt the knowledge, the representation, and the discourse associated with them.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.