Islamic Masculinities

Edited by Lahoucine Ouzgane


This illuminating book outlines the great complexity, variety and difference of male identities in Islamic societies.
This innovative book outlines the great complexity, variety and difference of male identities in Islamic societies. From the Taliban orphanages of Afghanistan to the cafés of Morocco, from the experience of couples at infertility clinics in Egypt to that of Iraqi conscripts, it shows how the masculine gender is constructed and negotiated in the Islamic Ummah. It goes far beyond the traditional notion that Islamic masculinities are inseparable from the control of women, and shows how the relationship between spirituality and masculinity is experienced quite differently from the prevailing Western norms. Drawing on sources ranging from modern Arabic literature to discussions of Muhammad‘s virility and Abraham‘s paternity, it portrays ways of being in the world that intertwine with non-Western conceptions of duty to the family, the state and the divine.

Author Bio

Lahoucine Ouzgane is associate professor of English at the University of Alberta, where his teaching and research interests focus on postcolonial theory and literature, composition and rhetoric, and masculinity studies.

Table of Contents

  • PART ONE: Masculinities and Religion
    • 1. Gender and Islamic Spirituality: A Psychological View of 'Low' Fundamentalism - Durre S. Ahmed
    • 2. The Smile of Death and the Solemncholy of Masculinity - Banu Helvacioglu
    • 3. Alternate Images of the Prophet Muhammad's Virility - Ruth Roded
    • 4. The Trial of Heritage and the Legacy of Abraham - Najat Rahman
  • PART TWO: Masculinities and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
    • 5. My wife is from the jinn: Palestinian men, diaspora, and love - Celia Rothenberg
    • 6. Chasing Horses, Eating Arabs - Rob K. Baum
    • 7. Stranger Masculinities: Gender and Politics in a Palestinian-Israeli 'Third-Space' - Daniel Monterescu
  • PART THREE: Masculinities and Social Practice
    • 8. Gender, Power and Social Change in Morocco - Don Conway-Long
    • 9. Masculinity and gender violence in Yemen - Mohammed Baobaid
    • 10. Opportunities for Masculinity and Love: Cultural Production in Ba'thist Iraq during the 1980s - Achim Rohde
    • 11. On being homosexual and Muslim: Conflicts and Challenges - Asifa Siraj
    • 12. "The worms are weak": Male Infertility and Patriarchal Paradoxes in Egypt - Marcia C. Inhorn
  • Index


'Lahoucine Ouzgane has collated a powerful and impressive collection of essays, making an important and timely contribution to our understanding of men and masculinities. In an age when the complex relationship between Islam and gender has never been more critical, and yet never more susceptible to myth, Islamic Masculinities not only challenges prevalent stereotypes about Muslim men and women, but provides compelling insights into the dynamics of masculine identity construction.'
Stephen Whitehead, author of Men and Masculinities: Key themes and new directions

'We have waited a long time for a book on Muslim men and Islamic Masculinities and now we have one. Lahoucine Ouzgane's timely collection covers the key debates about men and masculinity and includes discussion of violence, sexuality, spirituality and power.'
Robert Morrell, School of Education, Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal

''Gender problems and gender justice concern men as intimately as they concern women. In recent years, studies of men and masculinities have developed rapidly around the world. Islamic Masculinities is a valuable contribution to this new branch of social science. It is also a challenge.'
R.W.Connell, University Professor at the University of Sydney

'The wide-ranging and ground-breaking essays included in Ouzgane's thoughtful collection unequivocally demonstrate the diverse and suggestive complexity of both concepts and practices of Islamic masculinities, sexualities, and gender.'
Mary Layoun, Professor and Chair, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin

'This new ensemble of well informed essays, which aims to analyse the construction of masculinity within particular social and historical contexts, is welcome. The volume will be more useful for the many researchers in the field of gender studies who are not familiar with Arab-Islamic culture.'
Frederic Lagrange, Universite de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris iv)

'This wide-ranging collection of essays provides a diverse commentary on Islamic gender issues, illuminative within specific frameworks of contemplation...Numerous qualities of Islamic masculinity are viewed and benefit from contrast to, and comparison with, Islamic femininity and Western thought...This collection of work therefore combines many differing and insightful elements of Islamic masculinity, setting them within Islamic religious, social and military contexts and locating them within the ongoing discourse between the Islamic and non-Islamic world.'
Oxfam Review of Journals


Publication Date: 25 January 2006
256 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842772751
eBook ePub: 9781848137141
eBook PDF: 9781848131514
eBook Kindle: 9781780328201
Library Edition: 9781842772744

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