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Coleman, Isobel
Paradise beneath her feet : how women are transforming the Middle East / Isobel Coleman
Alternate Title How women are transforming the Middle East
1st ed
New York : Random House, c2010
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  HQ1236.5.M65 C65 2010    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Women's rights -- Middle East
Women's rights -- Religious aspects -- Islam
Muslim women -- Middle East -- Social conditions
Physical Description xxix, 315 p. ; 25 cm
Note "A Council on Foreign Relations book"--t.p
Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-303) and index
Contents Why women matter : the payoff from women's rights -- Gender jihad : the rise of Islamic feminism -- Revolutionary sisters : Iran -- Under the crescent moon : Pakistan -- Redirecting jihad : Afghanistan -- Channeling Khadijah : Saudi Arabia -- Daughters of Zainab : Iraq -- Conclusion : unveiling the future
Summary This volume presents a portrait of real Muslim women that reveals how Islamic feminists successfully argue that gender inequality is contrary to both Islamic spirit and law. The author examines the "gender jihad" waged by male and female feminists in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, arguing that 20th-century efforts to achieve quick results, such as anti-veiling laws, actually "sow[ed] the seeds for decades worth of Islamic backlash," hurting women more than helping. Today, those fighting for women's advancement are working with and within the culture, rather than against it in education, business, and politics to forge "a legitimate Islamic alternative to the current repressive system." The author reveals how activists are working within the tenets of Islam to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. She argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition and that success will bring greater stability and prosperity to the Middle East and stands to transform the region

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