Muslim Women Reformers
Inspiring Voices Against Oppression
Random House, Inc.
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.
Baker & Taylor
"This compilation of Muslim women's stories from around the world focuses on the voices of reformers who battle fiercely against such barbarisms as stonings, acid attacks, gang rapes, and "honor killings" that go largely unpunished due to discriminatory religious laws and an entrenched patriarchal culture. Each chapter provides an in-depth and up-to-date look at the status of women in Muslim countries, and in compact and often poignant biographies, reformers speak out with passion, humanity, and sometimes humor to expose to the whole world the harsh realities many women experience on a daily basis in many parts of the globe."--BOOK JACKET.
Lichter, an Australian psychiatrist, compiles Muslim women's stories from 27 countries. Each country chapter begins with background on the country, then presents the voices of long-oppressed women as they question patriarchal and religious beliefs and demand the social and political rights women lack in many Muslim countries. Some demand changes to discriminatory Sharia-based laws, and others campaign openly for political and educational reforms. There is also a chapter on male Muslim activists for reform, and a final chapter on transnational organizations that support Muslim women's rights. An appendix presents a summary of the Arab Human Development Report 2005, prepared by the UN Development Program. B&w political cartoons from the Islamic world press offer a seldom-seen perspective. A glossary is included, along with an extensive list of web sites and conferences. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Presents the voices of Muslim women challenging institutionalized persecution even when they risk derision, arrest, physical harm, and even death.
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2009
513 p. : ill. ; 24 cm