My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an engaging account of the struggle of a group of Muslim women to counter sexism within Islam from within Islam itself. It springs from the doctoral research and dissertation of the author, Susan Carland, herself a Muslim woman who struggles against sexism within Islam. There are clear parallels between the struggles of the Muslim women that Carland has extensively interviewed and the wider community beyond Islam, a struggle for equality between the sexes.
I found it interesting that Carland’s research highlighted that the word ‘feminism’ is a word that can be problematic within the Islamic world, and the use of which can create barriers to the work of the women Carland has interviewed. The approach that they use is to embrace the teachings of Islam itself to challenge the interpretations that are the basis of the sexism evident within Islam, interpretations that are often handed down by men.
Reading the stories of the women who were the subjects of Carland’s research is a powerful experience as the recount the story of their experiences, of support and of rejection, of success and setback.
A powerful and highly recommended read.