Every once in a while the Arab world gives rise to a prominent thinker who calls out our crap and does so with boldness and intellect. To challenge the status quo is one thing, but to convince others that the status quo needs to be challenged is a feat achieved only by few. This morning, the Arab world lost one of those prominent thinkers whose work unveiled the realities of male-female dynamics in the modern Muslim world: Fatema Mernissi. The Moroccan Islamic feminist and sociologist died at age 75, but not after leaving a lasting legacy.
Denouncing patriarchy in the Muslim culture, Mernissi went so far as to challenge the Islamic view of women as sexual objects and the validity of the subordination of women as seen in the modern manifestation of Islam, though not necessarily in the Quran. Mernissi released several publications and hosted many seminars on Islam and feminism, with her most renowned work being Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society. Bearing in mind that this was published in 1975, it's evident that Mernissi's work created waves as she was a thinker, writer, as well as a lecturer at the Mohammed V University of Rabat.
With the Islamic feminist niche rapidly growing, we're assured that Mernissi's work will continue to propel the movement forward and will never be forgotten.