Zanan

A move back a bit in time, because I think these news are still relevant and need to be spread. As well many in the west, like myself before some research, might not really be aware what Zanan is or better was – and how sad it is that this magazine, working along the borderline of Islamism and feminism, cannot be published any further. Its loss means that an important possibility for discoursive elaborations for and between muslim and non-muslim women, but as well men interested in the theme is gone.
signandsight.com introduces to the article in Al Ahram Weekly (published in Cairo) as followed:

Margot Badran celebrates the importance of the Iranian women’s magazine Zanan as a trailblazer for Islamic feminism. “With her new vision, clear determination, and solid experience in journalism, along with the support of like-minded thinkers, Shahla Sherkat launched an independent gender-progressive journal. In the pages of Zanan, women, along with male contributors (using female pseudonyms), including rising religious scholars, published their reinterpretations of the Qur’an and other religious texts articulating egalitarian readings of Islam. This coincided with the moment – the 1990s – when similar initiatives were surfacing among Muslims elsewhere in efforts to move beyond the constrictions and inequities of patriarchal versions of Islam.” The fact that the magazine has now been banned will not change anything: Zanan‘s “vision remains alive.”

read the full article here >>>

Zanan (Women) has been at the forefront in debates on women and gender within the framework of an egalitarian interpretation of Islam and for examining women’s experience in Iran and their contribution to society. From the start Zanan has had a dual existence: in Iran and in the world. Zanan ‘s news and views spun around cyberspace so fast it was clear it was onto something: gender equality and gender justice within Islam– exactly where much of the world thought it was missing. Now Zanan has been summarily shut down by authorities in Iran.

Zanan was founded in 1992 by Shahla Sherkat, a seasoned journalist and magazine editor. From 1982 she had served as editor of Zan-e Ruz (Today’s Woman) a publication of the state-run Kayhan publishing house before being pushed out in 1991 along with a number of others. They went on to found and write in independent publications and came to be known as the new religious intellectuals. Sherkat, the only woman among them, had already begun to bristle at Zan-e Ruz ‘s conservative line (that she had been originally hired to develop). By the time of her dismissal she was eager to start her own independent journal on women and gender. She pulled together, marshaled minimal resources, and created Zanan. ….

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