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Women in the Qur'an

Today, the issue of Muslim women is held hostage between two extreme perceptions: that of a rigid and conservative Islamic approach and that of a Western ethnocentric and Islamophobic approach. These two perceptions lead to an impasse in which it is virtually impossible, given how embedded ideas are fixed to respective certainties, to conceive of a fair and objective debate aimed at clarifying the two perspectives. Nevertheless, recent developments mean that at the heart of this intellectual effervescence, Muslim women are seeking to reclaim their right to speak in order to re-appropriate their own destinies. Indeed, today many female Muslim intellectuals living in Muslim societies and in the West, are questioning a number of negative preconceptions surrounding these issues. In particular, they contest the classical analysis which stipulates inequality between men and women and the attendant discriminatory measures, as being an inherent part of the sacred text by asserting that it is in fact certain biased readings, endorsed by patriarchal customs, which have legitimated these erroneous inequalities.This new perspective argues that Muslim women should be free to make their own choices, to rewrite their history and to define their own spaces of freedom - a freedom that is firmly anchored in a spiritual belonging but which is open on all human experiences and is ready to share with others - all others - the Qur'an's universal values of ethics and justice.
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Table of Contents

Part OneWhen the Qur'an speaks of WomenA story of all womenBalkis, Queen of Sheba: A democratic queenSarah and Hagar, emblems of monotheismZulaykha or forbidden loveUmm Musa and Asiah, the free womenThe daughter of Shu'ayb and the meeting with MusaMaryam, the favourite-Maryam a link between Christians and Muslims-The birth of Maryam-Maryam's spiritual retreat-Revelation and annunciation-The birth of 'Isa and all the struggles-Maryam and her son, a 'sign' for the worldsPart TwoWhen the Qur'an speaks to womenThe language of the Qur'an a masculine language?When the Qur'an responds to female demandsA Mubahala, or when the Qur'an encourages women to participationThe Muhajirat or female political refugeesThe mubayi'at or the political participation of womenAl-Mujadilah, when God listens to the secrets of a womenAnd the other verses?-Polygamy-Testimony-Inheritance-Hit them ... ?ConclusionIslam or the story of an aborted women's revolution Glossary of TermsPublishers End NotesBibliographyIndex

Promotional Information

Pitch to pre-publication journals as well as Islamic Horizons, Azizah magazine, and Al Jadid and Women's ENews.org and WomeninIslam.org, ALLHayati Magazine. Will send to prominent newspaper, magazine and web columnists who write about women's issues worldwide, and journalists who cover culture and the Middle East, including writers at The Nation, The Atlantic The Huffington Post, and Slate.com Will approach bloggers with Islamic interest Inclusion in the CBSD Cultural and Ethnic Studies catalog Display at Middle Eastern Studies conference and American Library Association conference. Special marketing to comparative religion and Islamic studies departments. Target major US Muslim associations including Muslim Student Association, Islamic Society of North America, and Young Muslim Association as well as major community centers and mosques with newsletters and bulletins

About the Author

Asma Lamrabet: Asma Lamrabet is currently working as a pathologist in Avicenna Hospital, Rabat, Morocco. She is also an award-winning author of many articles and books tackling Islam and women's issues.Myriam Francois-Cerrah: Myriam Francois-Cerrah is a writer and broadcaster with a focus on current affairs, France and the Middle East. Her articles have been published in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the New Statesman, Salon, The Independent, The New Internationalist, the Huffington Post and elsewhere.

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