“White Women and the Privilege of Solidarity” – Decolonial Islamic Feminism ( Speech & Video Interview w/ Houria Bouteldja )

Houria Bouteldja is a spokesperson for PIR, a decolonial political party in France called Les Indigenes de la Republique or Indigenous Peoples Party of the Republic.  This is her speech at the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism in October 2010 in Madrid, Spain.

This is followed by a video interview done by Tom Vee at the University of California in Berkeley in April 2011. Topics include Islamophobia, decolonial feminism, the privilege of solidarity and BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction).

Originally posted by Decolonial Translation Group

Madrid, Spain

Houria Bouteldja

Houria Bouteldja

I would, first of all, like to thank the Junta Islamica Catalana for having organized this colloquium, which is a real breath of fresh air in a Europe that is shriveling up in upon itself, wrought up in xenophobic debates and increasingly rejecting difference/alterity.

I hope that such an initiative will be able to take place in France. Before getting into the subject at hand, I would like to introduce myself, as I believe that speech should always be located.

I live in France, I am the daughter of Algerian immigrants. My father was a working class man and my mother was a housewife. I am not speaking as a sociologist, a researcher or a theologian. In other words, I am no expert. I am an activist and I am speaking as a result of my experience as a political activist and, I might add, my own personal sensibility. I am insisting on these details because I would like to be as honest as possible in my reasoning. Truth be told, until today, I hadn’t really thought about the question of Islamic feminism. So why am I taking part in this colloquium? When I was invited, I made it quite clear that I lacked the authority to speak about Islamic feminism and that I would rather deal with the idea of decolonial feminism and the ways in which, I believe, it should be related to the more general question of Islamic feminism. That is why I thought I would lay out a few questions that could prove useful for our collective questioning. Continue reading