Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(11) Women, Islam and Post-Colonial Realities in Asia

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Wilson B, Mezzanine Level

This panel seeks to overcome the Western-centric assessment of Muslim women’s experiences through the lens of emancipation. Instead, it recognizes the diversity of women’s self-affirmation efforts within Islamic frames and positions them in the socio-political realities of post-colonial states. Without exception, post-colonial Muslim-majority states in Asia sought to imagine themselves according to the logic of the nation-state, modernity and secularism. Based on this, Muslim women’s experiences have often been uncritically placed within the ambit of modernization. Yet, the socio-political reality of nation-state-building, the institutionalization of Islam, and the heterogeneity and plurality of Islamic heuristics in Asian countries defies the Western historical linearity of modernization and secularism. Similarly, this panel outlines that Muslim women’s attempts to define their agency through Islamic frames are attuned to their respective relational and socio-political contexts, and they mirror the plurality of Islamist actors. For example, women in Al-Huda Institute in Pakistan define their agency through a sophisticated interplay between Islamic norms and feminist ideas which resonates with the discourses prevalent within the Pakistani public sphere. In Indonesia, female religious scholars resort to Islamic exegesis to promote gender equality in the context of an increasingly conservative society. Indeed, throughout Southeast Asia, the paradox of multiple modernities appears more advantageous to the traditionalist rather than the progressive standpoint on gender and sexuality. In India, Kashmiri women effectively employ Islamic narratives to lead subaltern movements and motivate minority education. This panel brings together junior and senior scholars, and presents cross-disciplinary perspectives on issues of great scholarly importance. 

Presentations:

Aida M. Arosoaie

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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Aida M. Arosoaie

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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    Sara Mahmood

    Nanyang Technological University, Not Applicable, Singapore

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    Eva Nisa

    Victoria University of Wellington, Not Applicable, New Zealand

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    Maznah Binti Mohamad

    National University of Singapore, Not Applicable, Singapore

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    Nyla Khan

    Rose State College, Oklahoma

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    Aida M. Arosoaie

    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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