Beyond the Veil (Saqi Essentials)
Sexual inequality is a prominent feature of both Western and Islamic societies, but the underlying concepts of female sexuality in Christian and Muslim traditions are very different. In this classic study, Fatema Mernissi argues that many Muslim scholars historically portrayed women as active and in possession of an aggressive sexuality. Such traditions as veiling and domestic isolation arose from a desire to control the potential threat posed to the social order by women’s sexuality. The requisites of modernization, however, are incompatible with these traditional Islamic structures, and the ensuing contradictions now pervade nearly every Muslim country. Mernissi explores the historical links between the religion of Islam, the societal oppression of women, and the suppression of democracy in predominantly Muslim nations.