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Details of Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East

Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East
Exact title of book
Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East
Book author
Isobel Coleman
ISBN
9781400066957
Publisher
Random House Publishing Group
Published
Apr 27, 2010
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
352
File size (in PDF)
3168 kB

Some brief overview of book

Over the centuries and throughout the world, women have struggled for equality and basic rights. Their challenge in the Middle East has been intensified by the rise of a political Islam that too often condemns womens empowerment as Western cultural imperialism or, worse, anti-Islamic. In Paradise Beneath Her Feet, Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men are fighting back with progressive interpretations of Islam to support womens rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism.

In this timely book, Coleman journeys through the strategic crescent of the greater Middle EastSaudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistanto reveal how activists are working within the tenets of Islam to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. Coleman argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition. Success will bring greater stability and prosperity to the Middle East and stands to transform the region.

Coleman highlights a number of Muslim men and women who are among the most influential Islamic feminist thinkers, and brilliantly illuminates the on-the-ground experiences of women who are driving change Sakena Yacoobi, an Afghan educator, runs more than forty womens centers across Afghanistan, providing hundreds of thousands of women with literacy and health classes and teaching them about their rights within Islam. Madawi al-Hassoon, a successful businesswoman, is challenging conservative conventions to break new ground for Saudi professional women. Salama al-Khafaji, a devout dentist-turned-politician, relies on moderate interpretations of Islam to promote opportunities for women in Iraqs religiously charged environment.

These quiet revolutionaries are using Islamic feminism to change the terms of religious debate, to fight for womens rights within Islam instead of against it. There is no mistaking that women and womens issues are very much on the front lines of a war that is taking place between advocates of innovation, tolerance, and plurality and those who use violence to reject modernity in Muslim communities around the world. Ultimately, Paradise Beneath Her Feet offers a message of hope Change is happeningand more often than not, it is being led by women.

About book author

Coleman is a senior fellow for U. S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she also directs the councils Women and Foreign Policy program. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, and The Christian Science Monitor.

She is a frequent speaker at academic, business, and policy conferences and a guest commentator on networks including CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and In this timely book, Coleman journeys through the strategic crescent of the greater Middle EastSaudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistanto reveal how activists are working within the tenets of Islam to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. Coleman argues that these efforts are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition. Success will bring greater stability and prosperity to the Middle East and stands to transform the region.

Coleman highlights a number of Muslim men and women who are among the most influential Islamic feminist thinkers, and brilliantly illuminates the on-the-ground experiences of women who are driving change Sakena Yacoobi, an Afghan educator, runs more than forty womens centers across Afghanistan, providing hundreds of thousands of women with literacy and health classes and teaching them about their rights within Islam. Madawi al-Hassoon, a successful businesswoman, is challenging conservative conventions to break new ground for Saudi professional women. Salama al-Khafaji, a devout dentist-turned-politician, relies on moderate interpretations of Islam to promote opportunities for women in Iraqs religiously charged environment.

These quiet revolutionaries are using Islamic feminism to change the terms of religious debate, to fight for womens rights within Islam instead of against it. There is no mistaking that women and womens issues are very much on the front lines of a war that is taking place between advocates of innovation, tolerance, and plurality and those who use violence to reject modernity in Muslim communities around the world. Ultimately, Paradise Beneath Her Feet offers a message of hope Change is happeningand more often than not, it is being led by women.

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