Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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The Subject of Freedom

'The Subject of Freedom' is the first chapter of Saba Mahmood's book Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject.  Politics of Piety has been heralded as a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women's piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. Unlike those organized Islamist activities that seek to seize or transform the state, this is a moral reform movement whose orthodox practices are commonly viewed as inconsequential to Egypt's political landscape. Saba Mahmood's exposition of these practices challenges this assumption by showing how the ethical and the political are indelibly linked within the context of such movements.

To read the whole chapter, please download the pdf.


Saba Mahmood
Published Date: 
Political and Public Participation