Islamic feminist political narratives, reformist Islamic thought, and its discursive challenges in contemporary Iran
Afsaneh TAVASSOLI and TEO Lee Ken
This paper discusses the challenges of the political narratives and discourse of, what we would and some scholars have argued as, Islamic feminism in contemporary Iran. The paper explains briefly the social origins and accompanying intellectual and political developments that led to the emergence and shaped the political narratives in Iranian Islamic feminism. Next, it outlines and discusses the nature and characteristics of the Islamic feminist discourse. In doing so, the paper highlights and explains the central intellectual and ethical-political principles deliberated and advocated by several writers and thinkers within and related to this discourse and women’s discourse in general, including Ali Shariati, as well as Murtada Mutahhari whose views on women and gender inform mainstream perspectives on the status and role of women in Iranian society. The paper then examines the challenges confronted by the discourse of Islamic feminism and concludes by considering the implications of Islamic feminist narratives and discourse on contemporary Iranian thought and society.
KEYWORDS: Islamic feminism; women; gender; social thought; political discourse; sociology of Islam
Notes on contributors
Afsaneh Tavassoli is an associate professor at Alzahra University in Tehran. She teaches modules on sociological theories and feminist thought. Her research interests include sociology, gender studies, and women and society.
Teo Lee Ken is a postdoctoral fellow at Alzahra University in Tehran. He studies thinkers and political thought in Iran and Malaysia. His fields of study include political history, sociology of knowledge and culture, and comparative politics.