Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

English (Literature)

Department or School/College

Department of English

Committee Chair

Kathleen Kane


Islam, Nawal al Saadawi, Western stereotypes., Women


University of Montana


The purpose of this thesis is to review the positions of women in Islam in light of the primary sources of faith, The Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah, and hence, contributes to a better understanding of the highly stereotyped and Westernized image of Muslim woman as exemplified in the literary work of the Egyptian writer, Nawal Al Saadawi. The thesis focuses on how Nawal Al Saadawi, through her novel Woman at Point Zero, believes, as the Western world, feminists and readers do, that Islam has degraded the social status of women. She enforces the image of Muslim women as an oppressed, silent, victim of her religion. In doing so, she collaborates with the West and its image of the inferior status of Muslim/Arab women and the violence of patriarchal Muslim societies, strengthens the colonial, orientalist discourse and thus ends up being perceived in the Muslim and Arab societies as an agent of Westernization.

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