Author: Ida Lichter
Published: May 26th, 2009
Source: Receive for review
Buy at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
In a world where the strident demands of Islamic extremists capture the media’s attention, the courageous protests of Muslim reformers barely receive any notice. These include a surprising number of women who are prepared to challenge institutionalized persecution, risking derision, arrest, physical harm, and even death.
In this inspiring compilation of Muslim women’s stories from around the world, the voices of these long-oppressed women ring loud and clear as they question ideology and culture, patriarchal and religious beliefs, and demand the social and political rights women lack in many Muslim countries. The reformers speak out with passion, humanity, and sometimes humor in these compact and often poignant biographies, bringing alive the harsh realities for women in many parts of the world.
By surveying a wide range of Muslim reformers, not only in the Middle East but also in Europe and North America, Lichter uncovers some significant emerging trends. For example, she notes that the majority of Muslim feminists would like to see reform contained within Islam. Many criticize their patriarchal culture for suppressing egalitarian views that they believe the Koran expresses and so they advocate a reinterpretation of the holy text. Some demand changes to discriminatory Sharia-based laws. Others campaign openly for political and educational reforms.
Complete with a glossary and a list of helpful Web sites, this vibrant anthology makes use of reliable translations from original languages to demonstrate the groundswell of grassroots change that promises eventually to bring even the most conservative sectors of Islam into the twenty-first century.
As a Muslim woman, the book really opened my eyes about loads of thing that happening around across the globe of Muslim country, focusing on women. Most of the researches were collected from past, likely since e few decades before, till present. I must say Muslim women at this moment achieved so many things, likely equal to men (well, almost), they struggles a lot sometimes quite horrific to me. The book was sectioned and organized by country, start up with a little introduction of issues they were going through, then introducing the women reformers behind it. The women activists struggled with a lot of different issues like human rights, justice, education, healthcare, discrimination etc. Each of them showed great courage to stand up and fight even though facing death and severe discrimination. Even though I thought Malaysia is a very overwhelming Muslim country, it's shocking to see we're included in this. But when I read it, I think that is not really a big issues since I know who the reformers were, and for me, when it comes to religion there's some part that you can't turn against it. Personally, the book were focusing on why they were reformed; because of gender, and not because of religion. I strongly believe women in different country are facing the exact same thing towards this kind of discrimination; education, jobs, healthcare, human rights, justice, etc regardless of religion. However, it's very interesting to know when there's a book focusing Muslin women on this. Lichter only compiling what she has researched and stating the facts with a lot of references, in case the readers want to check on it in details of what is going on from it. The book is easy to understand, very brief, while it is not an introduction about Muslim and Islam. I really recommend the book to Muslim readers, for us to know is the women reformers and activists that committed their lives to escape from the struggle we were facing.
About the Author:
Ida Lichter, is a clinical and research psychiatrist and contributor to The Huffington Post. Living in London for over 12 years focused her interest on the large Muslim populations in the UK and Europe and brought her closer to the eye of the storm in the Middle East. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Lisa Roe from Online Publicist for an exchange of fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.