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In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman's Global Journeyby Elizabeth Wa Fernea
Synopses & Reviews
To most American readers, the very idea of "Islamic feminism" would seem a contradiction in terms. We are taught to think of Islam as a culture wherein social code and religious law alike force Muslim women to accept male authority, to throw themselves on their husband's funeral biers, to surrender to the veil...how could feminism survive under Islam, let alone flourish? Acclaimed Arab Studies scholar and bestselling author Elizabeth Fernea sets out to answer that question, traveling throughout Russia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as Islamic communities in the United States, to interview Muslim women.
The questions Fernea poses to scores of women friends, colleagues, and acquaintances prompt a range of diverse and unpredictable responses, but in every country she visits, Fernea finds that Muslim women are hardly passive. Poor or rich, educated or illiterate, these women define their own needs, solve their own problems, and determine the boundaries of their own very real, very viable feminisms.
Since her first visits to the Arab World in the 1950s, Elizabeth Fernea has been an intelligent and unique voice in the documentation of cultures that are all too often misunderstood. In Search of Islamic Feminism offers a ground-breaking new interpretation of the status and vision of Muslim women that will open up a new world to its American readers, even as it challenges our own sense of what feminism means.
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