chapter  5
The performance of the self: Engendering dependency and pleasures
Pages 23

The dominant and hierarchical gender system in Muslim communities is what Butler calls “performative-that is constituting the identity it is purported to be.”1 It is sustained by “a theological tradition that fosters and sustains images of women and practices by men that deny women their full worth as human beings created by God and as carriers of the spirit of God.”2 The performance of gender is profoundly socialized and politicized through different theological, biological, social, and political mechanisms that are rooted at the heart of personal, familial, and social institutions in each locality. Hierarchical gender-minded Muslims justify the systematic schemes of engendering process with the reiteration of interpretation of the Qur’mn, the .adåth and established religious legitimacies that are embodied at personal, familial and societal levels. For many Muslims, there is nothing more religiously appealing than saying something that is Qur’mnicly or prophetically sound, regardless of whether the Qur’mnic verses and/or the .adåth are taken out of context. Not many Muslims would do a background check on the validity or the historical and contextual contexts of the quoted sources of Islamic teaching since lay Muslims and scholars are respectful of the religious scholars (‘ulamm’). Daring to be ill-mannered to religious scholars (‘ulamm’) is tantamount to being disrespectful to Islam and that would reduce the chance of receiving the blessing (barakah) of the ‘ulamm’.