Submitting to God

Women and Islam in Urban Malaysia

by Sylva Frisk

275 pp., illustrated
Gendering Asia # 6
Available from NIAS Press worldwide except North America




Paperback - 2009, Available
ISBN 978 87 7694 048 5, £16.99


In recent decades, Malaysia has been profoundly changed by forces of globalization, modernization and industrialization, as well as by a strong Islamization process.  It has been argued, that the position of Malay women in society has worsened.  This study however, challenges that assumption through exploration of the everyday religious practices of pious women within Kuala Lumpur’s affluent, Malay middle class.

Here, women play an active part in the Islamization process not only through heightened personal religiosity but also by organizing and participating in public programmes of religious education. By organizing new forms of collective ritual and assuming new public roles as religious teachers, these religiously educated women are transforming the traditionally male-dominated gendered space of the mosque and breaking men’s monopoly over positions of religious authority.  This book challenges both preconceptions of the nature of Islamization as well as current theories of female agency and power.

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