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Images of Muslim women in contemporary Indonesian literature

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posted on 2023-05-28, 11:43 authored by Wajiran, W
The aim of this research is to explore the ways in which Muslim women are portrayed in contemporary Indonesian literature. This research is focused on the images of women in Javanese Muslim families. It is argued that there have been changes in the depiction of female characters since Reformasi in Indonesia. Although this research deals with the issues of Islam, literature and Muslim women, the object of the research cannot be labelled as Islamic literature. As well as the term 'Islamic literature' still being contested, not all the literary works discussed here are categorised as Islamic literature. However, the writers whose works are the object of this research are Muslims who actively engage in Islamic organisations. Some are lecturers in Islamic universities and in pesantren or Islamic boarding schools. The works of four prominent writers are discussed in this thesis. They are Habiburrahman El Shirazy, Abidah El Khalieqy, Mustofa W. Hasyim, and Alfina Dewi. Their works present a woman as the protagonist or issues pertaining to Muslim women as their themes. This research will contextualise the literary works within the Indonesian context. This is because the novels deal with Islamic values, Javanese tradition and contemporary Muslim society. Issues raised in the literary texts will be correlated with issues being addressed in society. This research will apply the feminist theory of Amina Wadud in order to undertake a feminist reading of the selected literary works. This research will be limited to Indonesian literature published since 1998. The year 1998 was the climax of Reformasi when the authoritarian President Suharto lost his position.

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