Sylva Frisk, Submitting to God: women and Islam in urban Malaysia
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Sylva Frisk’s Submitting to God is an important contribution to the understanding of grassroots women’s Islamic activities in Malaysia. The research was conducted over a year, beginning in 1995, and consisted of visits to religious studies centers in mosques and other venues in the Kuala Lumpur area. Frisk also visited homes and workplaces of those attending the study sessions so that she could better assess their reasons for participating and the goals they hoped to achieve. The text consists of three sections, one on Islamization in Malaysia (Chapters 1 and 2), one on the meetings themselves and the concerns addressed (Chapters 3 thru 6) and a conclusion entitled Feminism, anthropology and agency.
The first section discusses the development of Malay rights under the British colonial administration, the growth of ethnic party politics in the period since independence, continuing perceptions that Malays are being left behind and that national politics whether, the Malaysia Plans or the...