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Mounira Maya Charrad
University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2010 – 8/31/2011

Modernity within Islam: The Politics of Progressive Family Law Reform

In this project entitled "Modernity within Islam: The Politics of Progressive Family Law Reform," I consider countries and time periods in which policy makers have engaged in a discourse of modernity and pursued reforms of Islamic family law. I analyze three major examples: Turkey in the 1920s under Ataturk, Tunisia in the 1950s under Bourguiba, and Morocco in 2004 under Mohamed VI. All three cases are widely regarded by scholars as representing the most progressive legislation on family and gender among Muslim countries in the Middle East. I pose the following key questions: what features do these cases have in common and how do they inform us about the arguments that law makers and power holders have used to construct the discourse of modernity. I plan to analyze two kinds of texts: 1. the legal texts that constitute the reforms, and 2. the speeches made by power holders in presenting the reforms.