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Fatema Mernissi

Beyond The Veil
Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society

"What is the event, unimaginable thirty years ago, that is worth mentioning in my new introdution to reprint of "Beyond the Veil", my Ph.D dissertation published in 1975?" In her new introduction (2011), Mernissi argues that women’s aggressive invasion of the 500-plus Arab satellite channels in the twenty-first century, including as commanding show anchors, film and video stars, supports her theory that Islam as a religion celebrates female power.

Sexual inequality is a prominent feature of both Western and Islamic societies, but underlying concepts of female sexuality in Christian and Muslim traditions are very different, and the pattern of heterosexual relation in Muslim countries is probably unique.

In "Beyond the Veil" Fatima Mernissi argues that the Islamic view of women as active sexual beings resulted in stricter regulation and control of women's sexuality, which Muslim theorists classically regarded as a threat to civilized society. The requisites of modernization, however, are incompatible with traditional Muslim structures, and the ensuing contradictions now pervade nearly all Muslim countries.

Drawing on popular source materials, Mernissi explores the disorienting effects of modern life on male-female relations, looks at the male-female unit as a basic element of the structure of the Muslim system, and shows us the sexual dynamics of the Muslim world. Regarded as a classic book in the United States, Beyond the Veil has never been available in Britain. This revised and updated version finally fills that gap.

Book Cover Beyond the Veil
Beyond The Veil
Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society

Back to Books Overview

Al Jins Ka Handasa Ijtima'iya
Editions Le Fennec, Casablanca 1987

Achter de sluier
Nijgh Van Ditmar, 1985
De Geus, reissued, 1994

Book Cover Achter de Sluier

English (US)
Beyond The Veil
Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society
Schenkmann, 1975
Revised edition: Indiana University Press, 1987

English (UK)
Beyond The Veil
Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society
Saqi Books, London, 2011
With new introduction by F. Mernissi

Saqi Books Edition, London, 1985
Book Cover Beyond The Veil

French (France)
Sexe, Idéologie, Islam
Editions Tierce, Paris, 1983 - out of print

French (Maghreb)
Sexe, Idéologie, Islam
Editions Maghrébines, 1985
reissued by Le Fennec

Geschlecht, Ideologie, Islam
Frauenbuch, 1991 - out of print

Sexo, ideología e Islam
Ed. del Oriente y del Mediterraneo, 1975
new edition, forthcoming

Varlik, forthcoming