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There is no subject more fraught with ambiguity than the plight of the Muslim woman. Considered to be a woman in need of rescue, a veiled Muslim woman signals to many that her faith--Islam--holds her in low regard, and curtails her freedom of dress, movement, speech, and action. Is this indeed the case? Several Muslim women and men today are re-examining the Qur'an and the received tradition on the rights and responsibilities and duties of women to suggest that Islam offers women dignity, respect, fair treatment, moral responsibility and the opportunity for spiritual and material advancement and well being. This book explores the contours of the feminist theologies articulated by women and men such as Riffat Hassan, Amina Wadud, Asma Barlas, Khalid Abou El-Fadl and others. The question is, if Islam offers women so much, then why are so many women mistreated in the name of Islam? Each of these writers offer their own analysis regarding the many impediments barring women from being accorded the dignity and respect fundamental to being human. At the same time, the book explores how a feminist theology might be brought to bear in addressing the many issues that women, including Muslim women, face as a result of globalisation, the growth of fundamentalism, indigenous practices such as honor killings and female genital modification, and the effects of war, environmental degradation, and ill-health caused by pandemics such as HIV/AIDS.
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