Chahla Chafiq

Chahla Chafiq
Writer, Researcher

Political Islam, Modernity, and Gender: lessons from the Iranian Experience
My paper examines Iran through a clinical analysis of the development of Islamism as a social utopia within the context of a “mutilated modernity.” My approach emphasizes the gaps that separates this type of modernization it from a global political modernity as its historical, logical and social basis. Inter-gender social relations constitute an appropriate field to observe not only the making but also the consequences of “mutilated modernity” in its historical development. In fact, the symbolism of changes with regard to the veil in contemporary Iranian history illustrates the impact of dictatorship but also the role of different actors (including the non-Islamists) in the popularity of Islamism as a social utopia

Writer and sociologist exiled in France since 1982, Chahla Chafiq is the author of essays and novels written and published in Persian and French. Her Ph.D. thesis on “Islamism and Society: religious and political matters, sex and gender through Iranian experience” obtained the Le Monde Price for the academic research in 2010 before being published the 9th March 2011 by Presses Universitaires de France (PUF).

She is General Director of the Agency for the Development of Intercultural Relations for Citizenship (ADRIC) (

As a feminist working actively for the women cause and the Human Rights, in 2004, due to the collaboration of several intellectuals coming from islamique countries, she contributed to create “The Manifest of Liberties Association” ( During 2007, she was amongst the cofounders of “The International Solidarity Network backing Feminists in Iran”. Since 2010, she is a member of “Simone de Beauvoir Jury for Women’s Liberties” (

See also:

Essais :
-Islam politique, sexe et genre. A la lumière de l’expérience iranienne. Paris : PUF, 2011. (Political Islam, sex and gender through Iranian experience, PUF, Paris, 2011)
-Le Nouvel homme islamiste. La prison politique en Iran. Paris : Le Félin, 2002.
(The New Islamist Man. The Political Prison in Iran, Le Félin Publishers, Paris, 2002)
Femmes sous le voile. Face à la loi islamique. Paris : Le Félin, 1995. (Women under the Veil. Facing the Islamic Law, Le Félin Publishers, Paris, 1995)
La femme et le retour de l’islam. Paris : Le Félin, 1992. (The Woman and The Coming Back Islam, Le Félin Publishers, Paris, 1992)

Chemins et brouillard. Genève : Metropolis, 2005. (Paths and fogs, Metropolis, Geneva, 2005)