Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices against Oppression

Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices against Oppression

by Ida Lichter
     
 

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In a world where the strident demands of Islamic extremists capture the media’s attention, the courageous protests of Muslim reformers barely receive any notice. These include a surprising number of women who are prepared to challenge institutionalized persecution, risking derision, arrest, physical harm, and even death.

In this inspiring compilation of

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Overview

In a world where the strident demands of Islamic extremists capture the media’s attention, the courageous protests of Muslim reformers barely receive any notice. These include a surprising number of women who are prepared to challenge institutionalized persecution, risking derision, arrest, physical harm, and even death.

In this inspiring compilation of Muslim women’s stories from around the world, the voices of these long-oppressed women ring loud and clear as they question ideology and culture, patriarchal and religious beliefs, and demand the social and political rights women lack in many Muslim countries. The reformers speak out with passion, humanity, and sometimes humor in these compact and often poignant biographies, bringing alive the harsh realities for women in many parts of the world.

By surveying a wide range of Muslim reformers, not only in the Middle East but also in Europe and North America, author Ida Lichter uncovers some significant emerging trends. For example, she notes that the majority of Muslim feminists would like to see reform contained within Islam. Many criticize their patriarchal culture for suppressing egalitarian views that they believe the Koran expresses and so they advocate a reinterpretation of the holy text. Some demand changes to discriminatory Sharia-based laws. Others campaign openly for political and educational reforms.

Complete with a glossary and a list of helpful Web sites, this vibrant anthology makes use of reliable translations from original languages to demonstrate the groundswell of grassroots change that promises eventually to bring even the most conservative sectors of Islam into the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Heath
Books about women who struggle to make the world a better place are necessary and welcome. This one, however, suffers from oversimplification, bias, and notable omissions. The thin introduction addresses the fact of omissions, but does not name, for the sake of balance, any of those who are missing. There is a glossary, but no index, and a list of "Reform Web sites and Conferences." The book is comprised not of original interviews or writings, but of third-person, cut-and-paste profiles organized by country, from Afghanistan to Yemen. A few activist men and transnational rights groups are included. Little distinction is made between repressive regimes, generic "patriarchal Muslim males," and the religion of Islam. The book carries no blurbs from Muslims or scholars of Islam. Instead, glowing endorsements from Daniel Pipes and David Pryce-Jones, extreme Islamophobes, further undermine its credibility and authority. There are myriad hard-striving Muslim reformers worldwide and some listed here are indeed genuine. Nevertheless, this is not a thorough, trustworthy, or comprehensive accounting of Muslim women's courageous exertions for justice. Reviewer: Jennifer Heath

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591027164
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
06/26/2009
Pages:
438
Sales rank:
1,348,155
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

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