Fatema Mernissi Mother of Islamic Feminism

Early Life

Fatema Mernissi was born in Fez, Morocco in 1940 and was raised in a harem run by her grandmother. She received her education through the Moroccan nationalist movement and the French protectorate. She later studied and received a doctorate in political science from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

Career and Recognition

Fatema Mernissi was a world renowned author, as well as being a key figure to the rise of Islamic Feminism. She was a lecturer at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco and focused on topics such as methodology and psychosociology. Among her fifteen publications, her most widely recognized book Beyond the Veil, has become an international classic on the topics of sociology and the Muslim community. She was also recognized in 2003 by the country of Spain, and in 2004 by the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation and received the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature and the Erasmus Prize for her contributions to society.

Mernissi's Views

Fatema Mernissi spent her life studying the sacred texts of Islam and how they related to Muslim women's subordination in their culture. She discovered there was next to no support for this and began the movement we know today as Islamic Feminism. Her views were always those of a more moderate and inclusive Islamic society, one where people could live without fearing one another.

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