Humanizing the Sacred: Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia

Humanizing the Sacred: Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia

by Azza Basarudin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295995328
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 10/30/2015
Series: Decolonizing Feminisms Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Azza Basarudin is a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Note on Malay Names, Honorific Titles, and Terminology xiii

List of Abbreviations xv

Introduction: Faith, Self, and Community 3

1 Islam, the State, and Gender: The Malaysian Experiment 39

2 The Politics of the Sacred: Returning to the Fundamentals of Islam 75

3 In the Path of the Faithful: Activism for Social and Legal Reforms 105

4 Who Speaks for Islam? Religious Authority and Contested Justice 143

5 Negotiating Lives, Crafting Selves: Narratives of Belonging 181

6 The Local in the Transnational: Gender Justice and Feminist Solidarities 215

Conclusion 247

Notes 255

References 269

Index 295

What People are Saying About This

Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Humanizing the Sacred offers an innovative, nuanced cartography of the intellectual activism of Malay Muslim women reclaiming Islam and refashioning ethical selves in a remarkable act of balancing religious specificities and universal rights. The labor of reinterpreting classic Islamic doctrine, coupled with policy and activist work on issues of gender justice anchored in these very reinterpretations characterizes the truly unique and groundbreaking work of Sisters in Islam. An elegant, theoretically sophisticated ethnography that is a must-read for scholars in interdisciplinary feminist studies, religious studies, and anthropology.

Michael Peletz

A very well written and engaging account of the Sisters in Islam, an exceedingly important Muslim feminist organization based in Malaysia that has had a significant impact, through its writing and activism, in Southeast Asia and far beyond.

From the Publisher

"A very well written and engaging account of the Sisters in Islam, an exceedingly important Muslim feminist organization based in Malaysia that has had a significant impact, through its writing and activism, in Southeast Asia and far beyond."—Michael Peletz, author of Islamic Modern: Religious Courts and Cultural Politics in Malaysia

"Sisters in Islam is a pioneer in the field of contemporary Muslim women's activism. Azza Basarudin's thoughtful interviews and meticulously detailed histories about the lives of its members reveal the diverse ways Muslim women arrive at the point of activism. Humanizing the Sacred is an extremely important and timely book."—Elora Shehabuddin, author of Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh

"Humanizing the Sacred offers an innovative, nuanced cartography of the intellectual activism of Malay Muslim womenreclaiming Islam and refashioning ethical selves in a remarkable act of balancing religious specificities and universal rights.The labor of reinterpreting classic Islamic doctrine, coupled with policy and activist work on issues of gender justice anchored in these very reinterpretations characterizes the truly unique and groundbreaking work of Sisters in Islam.An elegant, theoretically sophisticated ethnography that is a must-read for scholars in interdisciplinary feminist studies, religious studies, and anthropology."—Chandra Talpade Mohanty, author of Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity

"Humanizing the Sacred offers a compelling account of Sisters in Islam, a groundbreaking collective of Muslim women activists and scholars struggling against religious authoritarianism. Neither naively celebratory nor harshly critical, Azza Basarudin offers a thorough and impassioned account of the group's struggle toward the development of a feminist interpretive community grounded in Islam, with influence in local, national, and transnational spheres."—Kecia Ali, author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence

Kecia Ali

Humanizing the Sacred offers a compelling account of Sisters in Islam, a groundbreaking collective of Muslim women activists and scholars struggling against religious authoritarianism. Neither naively celebratory nor harshly critical, Azza Basarudin offers a thorough and impassioned account of the group’s struggle toward the development of a feminist interpretive community grounded in Islam, with influence in local, national, and transnational spheres.

Elora Shehabuddin

Sisters in Islam is a pioneer in the field of contemporary Muslim women’s activism. Azza Basarudin’s thoughtful interviews and meticulously detailed histories about the lives of its members reveal the diverse ways Muslim women arrive at the point of activism. Humanizing the Sacred is an extremely important and timely book.

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