Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: At Issue's Women in Islam

This collection of essays in Women in Islam confronts the topic of Muslim women, so Westerners can better understand points of view of women in Islam with religion, society, gender, and law.  Though some points of view oppose in certain fundamentals, like Eltahawy’s “Muslim Women Should Not Be Stereotyped” and Pollitt’s “Muslim Women Need Their Rights to Be Recognized”, they are trying to do accomplish the same feat: provoking Westerners to overcome their ignorance based on stereotypes, fed by media, history, religions, and politics.  Read on for the review.

Gale's At Issue series presents another fine collection of essays (amongst their terrible ones like Is Childhood Becoming Too Sexualized?).  Women in Islam presents to us a much needed topic to quell anti-Islamic hysteria.  It is necessary in high schools to help educate the younger generations to be less ignorant of Middle Eastern cultures.  With more and more laws banning the wearing of burqas and other traditional headwear of the hijab for Muslim women, the topic is more current than ever.  Various perspectives from Muslim women and Christian women and esteemed professors, Islamic awareness trailblazers, and reporters make a wonderful well-rounded read.  The most surprising work is an interview from U.S. Catholic with a Muslim professor on comparative religion.  It provides us an intellectual concern and even curiosity.  The book includes an index, bibliography, table of contents, and a welcomed “Organizations to Contact” for further information.  Highly Recommended for high school, college, and adult reading.

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