Fatema Mernissi, one of Morocco's most celebrated feminist writers and sociologists, died Monday at the age of 75.
Known for her literary classics "Islam and Democracy," "Beyond the Veil" and "The Veil and the Male Elite," Mernissi was internationally recognized for her writings on Islam and women. Her work looks at the sexual ideology of Islam, the construction of gender and social and political life in Islamic societies.
Born in Fes in 1940, Mernissi studied political science in Paris at Sorbonne University and earned a doctorate from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. She then returned to Morocco to teach at Rabat’s Mohammed V University.
Included on Arabian Business's 2013 ranking of the 100 most powerful Arab woman, Mernisi was recognized both regionally and internationally for her work. She also conducted significant research projects for the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.
However, her passion was writing:
"Writing is seduction and seduction is the opposite of violence. I learned that in the Quranic school. Why do you think books like the Quran and the Bible have been bestsellers for over one thousand years? It’s simple: because they seek to seduce the reader through language, not with violence," she was quoted as saying.
She published more than 15 books and built a legacy that will certainly continue for many generations to come.