Tuesday, June 21

Book: Islam And Democracy, Fatema Mernissi

Some of you may recognise the author as she who wrote "Beyond The Veil". I only managed a few pages of that book before losing interest, but although I didn't realise Islam And Democracy was written by the same author until past the half way mark, it was still interesting enough for me to carry on reading it.

Don't let the title fool you; this book isn't really about democracy in the Middle East (or the lack thereof) per se, but more about the Islamic World's resistance to change altogether.

In my opinion, Mernissi is quite a presumptuous, patronising, generalist and at times arrogant (although in a soft and justified manner) writer. Now I've not read much sociology, so perhaps that's just how books about this subject are, but I feel that the tone of her books are kinda unnecessary. On the other hand it does sound somewhat familiar... Ahem.

Still the book makes some good points (even after you've detected the Sistahood propaganda in it), and is a good read if you want a more human (and therefore possibly more real) assessment of the Muslim situation in the Arab world. I may not agree with a lot of what Mernissi has to say, but I think she'll be happy with the fact that her book has stimulated new and furthered existing arguments in my mind.