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Woman's Identity and The Qur'an: A New ReadingNimat Hafez Barazangi
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Nimat Hafez Barazangi asserts that Muslim women have been generally excluded from equal agency, from full participation in Islamic society, and thus from full and equal Islamic identity, primarily because of patriarchal readings of the Qur'an and the entire range of early Qur'anic literature. Based on her pedagogical study of the sacred text, she argues that Islamic higher learning is a basic human right, that women have equal authority to participate in the interpretation of Islamic primary sources, and that women will realize their just role in society and their potential as human beings only when they are involved in the interpretation of the Qur'an. Barazangi, an American Muslim of Syrian origin, documents the historical development of Islamic thought and describes how Muslim males have arrived at the prevailing exclusionary positions. She considers the issues of dependent morality and of modesty, integrates her analysis with interviews she conducted with Muslim women in the United States and Canada, and compares that data with information from a parallel group in Syria and with historical cases. She concludes that the majority of Muslim women today are not educated even for a complementary role in society. The book offers a curricular framework for self-learning that could prepare Muslim women for an active role in citizenship and policy making in a pluralistic society and may serve as a guideline for moving toward a "gender revolution." Her analysis of the complex interaction of gender, religion, and the power of knowledge for self-identity offers a paradigm shift in Islamic studies.
Publisher: University Press of Florida
- 978-0-8130-3032-6 (paper)
- 978-0-8130-2785-2 (hardcover)