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Women and Islam: Readings/Videos

The following suggestions for readings and videos about women and Islam
appeared on WMST-L in October/December 2001.  Part 1 offers suggested
readings about "women and Islam"; Part 2 focuses more specifically on
fiction; Part 3 notes some readings bearing on feminism and Islamic law;
Part 4 offers information about two videos, "Beyond the Veil" and "Unholy
War."  These discussions may have been prompted in part by the events of
September 11, 2001 and the discussions that followed them.  See especially
Teaching About September 11 and Women, War, and Peace. For additional 
WMST-L files on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.

Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 14:40:52 -0400
From: Judith Lorber <judith.lorber @ VERIZON.NET>
Subject: books on women and Islam
Here is a very short bibliography of books in my personal library on women
and Islam. I invite others to send the list their own suggestions for a
feminist reading list on this subject. Please send them to the list, not me.

Ahmed, Leila. 1992. Women and gender in Islam. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.
Badran, Margot and Miriam Cooke (eds). 1990. Opening the Gates: A Century
of Arab Feminist Writing. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Djebar, Assia. 1992. Women of Algiers in their apartment. Charlottesville:
University Press of Virginia.
_____. 1995. So vast the prison (novel). New York: Seven Stories Press.
Kandiyoti, Deniz (ed.). 1991. Women, Islam and the state. Philadelphia:
Temple University Press.
Keddie, Nikki R. and Beth Baron (eds.). 1991. Women in Middle Eastern
history: Shifting boundaries in sex and gender. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.
Moghadam, Valentine M. 1993a. Modernizing women: Gender and social change
in the Middle East. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
_____(ed.). 1993b.  Gender and national identity: The woman question in
Algeria, Iran, Afghanistan, and Palestine. London: Zed Books.
Rugh, Andrea B. 1986. Reveal and conceal: Dress in contemporary Egypt.
Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Judith Lorber, Ph.D.            Ph/Fax -- 212-689-2155
319 East 24 Street              judith.lorber  @
Apt 27E
New York, NY 10010

"Unless the past and future were made part of the present by memory
and intention, there was, in human terms, no road, nowhere to go."
Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 11:57:37 -0700
From: Elizabeth Say <elizabeth.say @ CSUN.EDU>
Subject: Re: books on women and Islam
I would also recommend the following:
Bodman, Herbert and Nayereh Tohidi (eds.).  1998.  Women in Muslim Societies:
Diversity Within Unity.  Lynn Reinner Publishers, Inc.
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 12:21:20 -0700
From: Max Dashu <maxdashu @ LMI.NET>
Subject: Re: books on women and Islam
Of course, there are the books of Fatima Mernissi, such as _Beyond the
Veil_, _The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's
Rights in Islam_, Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987. This last takes on
(among other things) the issue of reinterpretation of the Quran via the
ahadith, sayings attributed to Muhammad, and addresses hijab, slavery and
other issues affecting women.

Another interesting analysis which (like Mernissi in Beyond the Veil)
examines the notion of uncontrolled women as agents of fitna (disorder) is
Fatna Ait Sabbah's _La Femme dans l'inconscient musulman_ (Paris: Le
Sycomore, 1982). It has been translated into English; I believe the title
is _Woman in the Muslim Unconscious_.

Some others, addressing Islam contextually rather than directly:

Shaaban, Bouthaina, _Both Right and Left Handed: Arab Women Talk About
Their Lives_, London: Midland, 1991 (prev. by Women's Press LTD, 1983)

Arebi, Saddeka, Women and Words in Saudi Arabia: the Politics of Literary
Discourse, New York: Columbia U Press, 1994

Max Dashu   <maxdashu  @>
Global Women's Studies
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 14:21:10 -0500
From: "Gerami, Shahin" <shg226f @ SMSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: books on women and Islam
I like to add my book on Women and Fundamentalism: Islam and Christianity,
and a recent article in Gender and Society, August, 2001. I have a large
bibliography and will be happy to e-mail any one who wanted a copy in WORDS.

Shahin Gerami
Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Southwest Missouri State University
Springfield, MO 65804
Fax  :417-836-6416
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 00:43:41 -0700
From: Lois Helmbold <helmbold @>
Subject: women & Islam title
A related book on women & Islam (not only) is

Altorki, Soraya & Camilla Fawzi-El-Solh, eds.
Arab Women in the Field:  Studying your own Society (Syracuse UP, 1988).

I've taught this book very successfully in my graduate seminar on
Feminist Methodology in the Social Sciences.

Lois Helmbold
helmbold  @
Coordinator, Women's Studies, San Jose State U
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 16:40:53 -0400
From: Judith Lorber <judith.lorber @ VERIZON.NET>
Subject: reading suggestions
I was asked for targeted readings --

Kandiyoti, Deniz (ed.). 1991. Women, Islam and the state. Philadelphia:
Temple University Press.
Moghadam, Valentine M. 1993a. Modernizing women: Gender and social change
in the Middle East. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
_____(ed.). 1993b.  Gender and national identity: The woman question in
Algeria, Iran, Afghanistan, and Palestine. London: Zed Books.
The edited books have articles on a lot of different countries.
Moghadam, Valentine M. 1989. Revolution, the state, Islam, and women:
Sexual politics in Iran and Afghanistan. Social Text 22:40-61.
She also has a chapter on Afghan women in the national identity book.
Ayesha Jalal has an interesting article on women in Pakistan in the
Kandiyoti book.


Judith Lorber, Ph.D.            Ph/Fax -- 212-689-2155
319 East 24 Street              judith.lorber  @
Apt 27E
New York, NY 10010
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 19:55:35 -0400
From: Judith Lorber <judith.lorber @ VERIZON.NET>
Subject: more reading suggestions
I pass this on from Shirley Harkess. She also sent me the whole article.
Request privately and I'll forward it.


I also found a recent excellent (and web-accessible) article by Moghadam
which I am having my family class read:

         "Revolution, Religion, and Gender Politics:  Iran and Afghanistan
Compared."  _Journal of Women's History_ 10,4:172 ff.  Winter 1999.

It's mostly on Afghanistan and has a substantial bib.  I'd forward to whole
list - but haven't done so and am in a rush to leave office.  Perhaps you


Shirley Harkess
Department of Sociology - Fraser 716
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-2172
Phone:  785-864-9420; FAX:  785-864-5280
Email:  hark  @

Judith Lorber, Ph.D.            Ph/Fax -- 212-689-2155
319 East 24 Street              judith.lorber  @
Apt 27E
New York, NY 10010
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 16:56:32 -0400
From: Asma <aa114488 @ OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Books on women and Islam
I have a huge bibliography that I put on a diskette when I sold my computer.
I have not been able to locate it.  Below you will find some of the refs.  I
found for a recent research.  Try to find  Fatima Mernissi's  "The
fundamentalists obsession with women: a current articulation of class
conflict in modern Muslim societies. It is a small booklet I have it,  but
it is missing the first pages, so I do not have the date or the publisher.
I am sure I will find a full citation in the missing diskette, will send it
to you if I locate it.   If you want to look at new titles, go into the web
site of the Library of congress and search for the key words "women and
I hope the refs. Below are useful.  They are in different bibli format.
formatted according to the bibli format requested on the papers I wrote.

Abou El Fadl, Khaled, Conference of the books : the search for beauty in
Islam. Lanham, University Press of America, 2001.
Abu-Lugud, Laila, ed (1998). Remaking women: feminism and modernity in the
Middle East. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Afkhami, M. (1995) Faith and freedom: Women's human rights in the Muslim
world. L.B. Tauris & Co. London.
Afzal-ur-Rahman  (1986). Role of Muslim woman in society. 1st ed. London.
Seerah Foundation,
Ali, Azra Asghar. The emergence of feminism among Indian Muslim women,
Ali, Shaheen Sardar. Gender and human rights in Islam and international law
: equal before Allah, unequal before man?  Boston : Kluwer Law
International, 2000.
Ann Elizabeth Mayer (1991).  Islam and human rights: Traditions and
politics, Westview press London.
Anne Sofie Roald. Women in Islam: the Western experience.  London ; New
York: Routledge, 2001.
Barbara Callaway (October 1986.Education and emancipation of Hausa Muslim
women in Nigeria. Rutgers University, Working paper # 129.
Barlas, Asma. "Believing women" in Islam: unreading patriarchal
interpretations of the Qur'an. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2002.
Cooke, Miriam.  Women claim Islam : creating Islamic feminism through
literature New York, Routledge. 2001
Doumato, Eleanor Abdella. Getting God's ear: women, Islam, and healing in
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf  New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
E Hurley, Jennifer A., Islam : opposing viewpoints  Jennifer A. Hurley, book
Fatima Mernissi (1991). The veil and the male elite: a feminist
interpretation of women's rights in Islam Reading, Mass. Addison Wesley Pub.
Fatima Mernissi (1993). The forgotten queens of Islam, University of
Minnesota Press.
Gisela Webb, ed. Windows of faith : Muslim women scholar-activists in North
America  edited
Globalization, gender, and religion: the politics of implementing women's
rights in Catholic and Muslim contexts  edited by Bayes, Jane H. and Tohidi,
Nayereh, eds. New York: Palgrave, 2001.
 Haleh Afshar, Women (1988) State and Ideology in Iran, Published in Dossier
3 of Women Living Under Muslim Law.
Hale, Sondra (1996). Gender poitics in Sudan: Islamism, socialism, and the
state. Boulder, Westview.
J.N.D.  Anderson, (1959) Islamic Law in the Modern World, New York
University     Press.
John C. Raines and Daniel C. Maguire, eds. What men owe to women: men's
voices from world religions  Albany: State University of New York Press,
Jonah Blank Mullahs on the mainframe : Islam and modernity among the Daudi
Jonas Svensson. Women's human rights and Islam : a study of three attempts
at accommodation
Joseph Runzo and Nancy M. Martin, eds. Love, sex and gender in the world
religions. Boston:
Kabeer, Naila. The quest for national identity: women, Islam and the state
in Bangladesh Brighton, England: Institute of Development Studies at the
University of Sussex, 1989.
Kandiyoti, Denis (1992) Women,  Islam and the state'; a comparative approach
in Juan Cole ed. Comparing Muslim societies; knowledge and the state in
world civilization. Michigan University Press.
Kusha, Hamid, The sacred law of Islam : a case study of women's treatment in
the Islamic
Lund, Sweden, Religionshistoriska avdelningen, Lunds universitet : Almqvist
& Wiksell, 2000.
Maria Jaschok and Shui Jingjun. The history of women's mosques in Chinese
Islam : a mosque of their own. Richmond, Curzon, 2000.
Minai, Naila (1981). Women in Islam: tradition and transition in the middle
east, Sea view Books New York.
Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi, Islam Forbids free Mixing of men and women, Kazi
Publications, Lahore Pakistan.
Nicholas Awde, ed. Women in Islam : an anthology from the Quran and Hadiths
translated &
Oneworld, 2000.
Perspectives on marriage : a reader  edited by Kieran Scott, Michael Warren
Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001
Qasim Amin, The liberation of women ; and, The new woman: two documents in
the history of Egyptian feminism, translated by Samiha Sidhom Peterson.
Cairo, American University in Cairo, 2000
Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban : militant Islam, oil and fundamentalism in Central
Asia  Ahmed
Rebecca Cook. Ed.  (1994), Human rights of women : national and
international perspectives University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
Rizzo, Helen Mary, Islam, democracy and the status of women : the case of
Kuwait  by Helen Mary 2001
Roded, Ruth. Women Islam and the middle east: a reader. London: I.B.
San Diego, Calif. Greenhaven Press,
Sayyid Zeeshan Haider Jawadi,  Woman and shari'at (divine law): complete
rules regarding women, in Islam. English translation by Mohammad Ali Abde
Ali. Syracuse, N.Y., Syracuse University Press, 2000.
Valentine Mughadam (1991). Revolution, the State, Islam, and Women: Gender
Politics in Iran and Afghanistan. Women Living Under Muslim Law, Dossier 7/8
p 34.
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 08:04:28 +1000
From: bronwyn winter <bronwyn.winter @ FRENCH.USYD.EDU.AU>
Subject: Re: Books on women and Islam
Hello all
Don't know whether you're also interested in articles, but you may want to
check out, for some theoretical discussion on islamic fundamentalism and women:

my article "Fundamental Misunderstandings:  Issues in Feminist Approaches to
Islamism", with commentary by Riffat Hassan, Valentine Moghadam & Margot
Badran, plus a rejoinder from me, in Journal of Women's History 13 (1), spring


Dr Bronwyn Winter
bronwyn.winter  @
Ph: (61-2) 9351 5643

Dept of French Studies A18
Brennan Building
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Fax: (61-2) 9351 7573
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 10:56:20 -0400
From: Judith Lorber <judith.lorber @ VERIZON.NET>
Subject: Signs section on Gender Politics and Islam
There is a whole section on Gender, Politics, and Islam in Signs v. 23,
Winter 1998, pp. 321ff

Judith Lorber, Ph.D.            Ph/Fax -- 212-689-2155
319 East 24 Street              judith.lorber  @
Apt 27E
New York, NY 10010
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 11:13:48 -0600
From: Phyllis Holman Weisbard <pweisbard @ LIBRARY.WISC.EDU>
Subject: mini-thematic issue of FEM. COLLECTIONS on Islam
Dear Colleagues,

STUDIES RESOURCES is a double issue with a timely "mini-theme" on Islam,
Women, and Feminism. Included are three reviews essays
        "Islam and Feminism: in Search of Compatibility," by Zohreh
        "North American Muslim Women Voice Their Concerns," by Sherine Hamdy
        "Women in Islam: Four Films," by Jennifer Lowenstein

Other reviews in this issue cover books on women's friendship,
correspondence, and history in independent films, and videos on Audre
Lorde and on girls worldwide. Also in the issue are an article
describing the Mapping the World Database of Women's Information
Services Around the World project at the Internation Information Centre
and Archives of the Women's Movement in Amsterdam and the customary
columns reviewing new reference works, periodicals, and websites on
women, along with other items of note.

Single copies of this double issue are available for $7.00, by check
made payable to the University of Wisconsin-Madison sent to the Women's
Studies Librarian's Office, 430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street,
Madison, WI 53706 USA

For subscription information to our three publications available on
joint subscription only, see

Phyllis Holman Weisbard
University of Wisconsin System
Women's Studies Librarian
pweisbard  @

For information about WMST-L

WMST-L File Collection

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