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Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Todayby Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad
Synopses & Reviews
The treatment and role of women is one of the most discussed and controversial aspects of Islam. In this volume, three respected scholars of Islam survey the situation of women in Islam, focusing on how Muslim views about and experiences of gender are changing in the Western diaspora. It offers an overview of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad on gender, analyzes the ways in which the West has historically viewed Muslim women, and examines how the Muslim world has changed in response to Western critiques. The volume then centers on the Muslim experience in America, examining Muslim American analyses of gender, Muslim attempts to form a new "American" Islam, and the legal issues surrounding equal rights for Muslim females. Such specific issues as dress, marriage, child custody, and asylum are addressed. It also looks at the ways in which American Muslim women have tried to create new paradigms of Islamic womanhood and are reinterpreting the traditions apart from the males who control the mosque institutions.
"A timely and insightful look into the lives of an American population that remains marginalized and misunderstood, four years after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Beautifully written, accessible, and well-researched by three leading scholars on American Muslims today, this book challenges stereotypes of American Muslim women by showing that they are more similar than they are different to other groups of U.S. women. They are full and active participants in society trying to balance family, education, and work demands. Filled with historical and contemporary evidence that demystifies the experiences of Muslim American women, this book will help bring this group to the fore of mainstream scholarship." Jen'nan Ghazal Read, author of Culture, Class, and Work among Arab-American Women
The treatment and role of women are among the most discussed and controversial aspects of Islam. The rights of Muslim women have become part of the Western political agenda, often perpetuating a stereotype of universal oppression. Muslim women living in America continue to be marginalized and misunderstood since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet their contributions are changing the face of Islam as it is seen both within Muslim communities in the West and by non-Muslims. In their public and private lives, Muslim women are actively negotiating what it means to be a woman and a Muslim in an American context.
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore offer a much-needed survey of the situation of Muslim American women, focusing on how Muslim views about and experiences of gender are changing in the Western diaspora. Centering on Muslims in America, the book investigates Muslim attempts to form a new "American" Islam. Such specific issues as dress, marriage, childrearing, conversion, and workplace discrimination are addressed. The authors also look at the ways in which American Muslim women have tried to create new paradigms of Islamic womanhood and are reinterpreting the traditions apart from the males who control the mosque institutions. A final chapter asks whether 9/11 will prove to have been a watershed moment for Muslim women in America.
This groundbreaking work presents the diversity of Muslim American women and demonstrates the complexity of the issues. Impeccably researched and accessible, it broadens our understanding of Islam in the West and encourages further exploration into how Muslim women are shaping the future of American Islam.
About the Author
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Georgetown University, Jane I. Smith, Professor of Islamic Studies, Hartford Theological Seminary, and Kathleen M. Moore, Associate Professor of Law and Society, University of California, Santa Barbara.
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