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Title:The Muslim 'who has faith' in Leila Aboulela's novels 'Minaret' (2005) and 'Lyrics alley' (2009)
Author:Hunter, EvaISNI
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa (ISSN 2159-9130)
Geographic terms:Sudan
Great Britain
About person:Leila Aboulela (1964-)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1013929X.2013.795761
Abstract:This essay analyses Leila Aboulela's narrative techniques when depicting a Muslim 'who has faith' in her two most recent novels. In 'Minaret' she presents religion as a source of strength for her female narrator-protagonist but also suggests that Muslim women of faith should adopt a quietist retreat from public life in order to nourish their spiritual life. In 'Lyrics Alley', by contrast, the male Muslim 'who has faith' represents superiority in spirituality and intellectual accomplishment as well as knowledge of the orthodox form of Islam. While Aboulela may be reacting to the kind of journalism in the British media that portrays distorted facts about Muslims and links Islam with violence, the form of religion that she advocates is not modulated by her life in Britain. She misunderstands British culture and does not present understanding of the long-standing forces behind the recent eruptions in Arab states, in which women have figured. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]