WOMEN AND ISLAM
WOMEN AND ISLAM
With the United States awash with hatred and misunderstanding of Islam, “Women and Islam” is an important topic and one I have been exploring on my blog. Some Muslim women have attacked their faith and urged George Bush and friends to attack their country in “save” the women. Many more Muslim women continue to find solace and meaning in Islamic practices. Although the details differ, Islam resembles the other patriarchal religions, Christianity and Judaism, in its painful treatment of women.
These are some of the best books about women and Islam that I have read and reviewed in recent years. Links will take you to my reviews and sometimes my summaries of their information.
I am including this post as a permanent page of my blog.
Leila Ahmed is a scholar specializing in Women and Gender and teaching at Harvard University’s Pluralism Project. She was born in Cairo, educated in England, and previously taught in the Arab world. For me she is the most authoritative voice on Muslim women.
Women and Gender in Islam is her scholarly history of these topics, well researched and comprehensive. She argues that Islam, has create problems for women, but has within in practices and beliefs that affirm women.
A Border Passage: From Cairo to America is her fine autobiography, including the gentle, peaceful Islamic practices of her mother’s family.
The Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence traces the raise of Islamism in recent years and the place of women in it. Ahmed analyzes women’s use of the veil for other reasons than commitment to radical versions of Islam.
Love in a Headscarf, by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed. A memoir about what it means to be an articulate young Muslim woman seeking to deepen her faith, adapt to life in England, and marry. Excellent on Islamic attitudes about family and courtship and about reforms within Muslim communities.
Excellent Daughters, by Katherine Zoepf. Contemporary journalistic account of young women in varied places in the Middle East. Uneven, but interesting.
The Butterfly Mosque, by G. Willow Wilson. A young American woman’s story of her attraction to Islam and Cairo and the Muslim man she marries.
Searching for Islamic Feminism: One Woman’s Global Journey, by Elizabeth Fernea. A scholar of Islamic women tours the Middle East in the 1990s learning about women’s activities.
Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim, by Sabeeha Rehman. The autobiography of a Muslim woman from Pakistan and her efforts to be active in her faith in the United States.
Leila Aboulela is a novelist from Suddan who writes about Islam as a major theme in women’s lives.
The Kindness of Enemies
Lyrics Alley. Describes the conflict between a traditional and a modern wife.
Nawal El Saadaw. Classic books by one of the first to declare herself a Islamic feminist.
OTHER NOVELS ABOUT MUSLIM WOMEN
A VALUABLE HISTORY CENTERING ON THE MUSLIM WORLD