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Chapter

Week 10 - Muslim Women, Feminism and the Politics of Religion


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 885
Professor
Amina Jamal

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Monday March 19th, 2012
Week 10
Muslim Women, Feminism and the Politics of Religion
-there is another kind of politics related to the issue of the states of women and Islam
-woman and many of you may have participated in it, in the last 10 15 years there has been a great
increase of women reading the Quran
-what we are seeing today is a new pheromone, some people may say it is political, women as groups
get together to read the real meanings of the Quran and want to see what the Quran expects a Muslim
women to be like, many women have become important scholars
Contemporary Significance of Women Reading the Quran:
-Increased interest among Muslims (individuals and organizations) in reading, translation and
interpretation of Quranic verses
-going to talk about well known women in North America, mostly scholars that you will come across in
Western, feminist literature about Muslim women
-In many Muslim societies: traditional groups of scholars and religious leaders, mostly male, use the
Quran to justify practices that are considered restrictive for women
-In contrast Muslim women’s groups read the Quran in order to evaluate and challenge the traditionally
given interpretations. Thus they use the Quran to increase women’s rights and enhance the rights of
women in modern societies
Websites of Muslims engaged in Reading Quran:
-http://www.alhudainstitute.ca/
-http://www.ccmw.com/
-http://www.wluml.org/node/5499
WLUML Women Living Under Muslim Laws
They are doing a comparative study of different Muslim societies, they are arguing how
one society has one kind of laws and another has different
-http://muslimahmediawatch.org/resources/
-http://www.feminijtihad.webs.com/
-http://www.al-fatiha.org/index.htm
-http://imaanlondon.wordpress.com/islam-sexuality/#q1
Asma Barlas - Home page:
-Barlas, “believing women in Islma, undoing patriarchal interpretations”
-she grew up in Pakistan and her parents were liberal so she didn’t get introduced to the Quran that way
-she learned Islam through the Quran, not through cultural practices
-there are 2 sets of questions the Asma Barlas analysis:
1. Is the Qur’an a patriarchal or misogynistic text?
Through the language that is used and the way you interpret the language will be
influenced by your precious experiences in life
You would probably look at how it is talking about gender and sex, also have a look at
the context in which it is written and through which you are speaking
She wants to see if the Quran represents God as the male/father, and it does
Barlas talk about how narrow and broad patriarchy
2. Can we can read the Qur’an for liberation?
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