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Professor Haideh Moghissi's 1999 book on feminism and Islam finds new readers in Indonesia

Professor Haideh Moghissi's 1999 book on feminism and Islam finds new readers in Indonesia

About five years ago, Haideh Moghissi heard of plans to translate into Indonesian her 1999 book, Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism: The Limits of Postmodern Analysis. She didn’t hear anything more until two months ago when, lo and behold, she learned it had not only been translated, it had been published.

Slowly, over the past 12 years, the landmark book – critical of Islamic fundamentalism and its treatment of women – has become increasingly available in Muslim countries. A year after it first came out, Oxford University Press released it as part of its millennium series in Pakistan. Last year, it was translated for Korean audiences (see YFile, Oct. 6, 2010).

Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism, which won the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award in sociology in 2000, was translated and released in Indonesia by the Jakarta-based International Centre for Islam and Pluralism and publisher LKiS Yogyakarta.

Moghissi, who teaches  women’s and equity studies, couldn't be more pleased about her book's release in Indonesia, which has blossomed into democracy since the overthrow of President Suharto in 1998. “Indonesia is the largest Muslim country on Earth," she points out. “Obviously, the ideas remain current and of concern if publishers are making available a book that is critical of fundamentalism and of its treatment of women."

Neighbouring Malaysia long ago banned Moghissi’s book. “The fact that it is being published next door in Indonesia makes me even happier,” she says. No doubt copies will filter across the Strait of Malacca.

In her ongoing effort to illuminate the experience of Muslims in the West, Moghissi recently co-edited a book of essays on the subject, Muslim Diaspora in the West: Negotiating Gender, Home and Belonging.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.