Fatema Mernissi is a contemporary Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist. Mernissi studied political science at the Sorbonne and at Brandeis University, where she earned her doctorate.
Mernissi is largely concerned with Islam and women’s roles in it, analyzing the historical development of Islamic thought and its modern manifestation. Through a detailed investigation of the nature of the succession to Muhammad, she casts doubt on the validity of some of the hadith (sayings and traditions attributed to Muhammad), and therefore subordination of women that she sees in Islam, but not necessarily in the Qur’an.
In 2003, Mernissi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award along with Susan Sontag.