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Report of "believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an

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Report of "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an

In her book"Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an, author Asma Barlas challenges the oppressed patriarchal exegesis of the Qur'an by a historical analysis of religious authority and knowledge and develops a believer's reading of the Qur'an that demonstrates the radically egalitarian and antipatriarchal nature of its teachings, thus confirming that Muslim women can struggle for equality from within the framework of the Qur'an's teachings. She extends her unreading of patriarchal exegesis of the Qur'an on a variety of issues ranging from the nature of Divine Self-Disclosure (how God defines God), to the Qur'an's view of prophets, parents, spouses, human creation, moral agency, sex/gender, and sexuality.

Her perspective debunks many of the misconceptions individuals have about gender roles within the Muslim community and enhances people’s understanding through its most sacred scripture, rather than via Muslim cultural practices or Western media stereotypes.

What struck me is that she has written this work with both Muslims and non-Muslims in mind. So the question of how the author addresses her perspective to the addressee with different even confronting backgrounds becomes rather interesting for me.

Last but not least, Barlas provides detailed explanations of Arabic terms (both in the text and in the glossary at the end of the book, through a simplified version of the Library of Congress system of transliterations and the glossary at the beginning of the book, Barlas has made the book extremely reader-friendly, even for those not familiar with Arabic words.

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