Sophie Schrago

Grant Type

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Manchester, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9720

Approve Date

October 10, 2018

Project Title

Schrago, Dr. Sophie, U. of Manchester, Manchester, UK - To aid filmmaking on 'Reforming Islam, Recasting Secularism: Muslim Women Leading A Quiet Revolution In India' - Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

Preliminary abstract: This film project is set against the backdrop of the debate initiated by feminist scholars on the need to rethink secularism and its political implications for feminism and minorities’ rights. Based on a theoretical reflection on the intricate relationship between feminism, secularism and religion, this project traces the emergence of a kind of Islamic feminism within the Muslim community in India, where the combined use of religious and secular repertoires brings important insights into the relationship between Islam, secularism and activism. More specifically, the film explores the implications of this new Muslim feminist dynamic as ways of challenging and questioning both the feminist doxa and the Muslim orthodoxy. By following the journey of the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement (Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan – BMMA) and its activists across several cities in India, this film examines how Indian Muslim women are apprehending the challenge of simultaneously addressing the claims of both equality and identity in a multicultural society. Through an exploration of the ground-breaking actions and discursive production on secularism, gender justice and Islam by Indian Muslim women activists, this film project ultimately aims to investigate an enlightening feminist reading of the principle of secularism, where the role of religion and ‘Islamic knowledge’ in particular are reflected in a way to reclaim space for inclusive democracy and justice.