In Search of Islamic Feminism by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
One Woman's Global Journey

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"Islamic feminism" would seem a contradiction in terms to most Westerners. We are taught to think of Islam as a culture wherein social code and religious law alike force women to accept male authority and surrender to the veil. How could feminism emerge under such a code, let alone flourish? Now, traveling throughout Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as Islamic communities in the United States, acclaimed Arab Studies scholar and bestselling author Elizabeth Fernea sets out to answer that question.

Fernea's dialogue with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances prompts a range of diverse and unpredictable responses, but in every country she visits, women demonstrate they are anything but passive. In Iraq, we see an 85 percent literacy rate among women; in Egypt, we see women owning their own farms; and in Israel, we see women at the very forefront of peacemaking efforts. Poor or rich, educated or illiterate, these women define their own needs, solve their own problems, and determine the boundaries of their own very real, very viable feminism. In Search of Islamic Feminism offers a groundbreaking new interpretation of the status and vision of Muslim women that will open up a new world to its readers, even as it challenges our own sense of what feminism means.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

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Elizabeth Warnock Fernea is professor emerita of English and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Published December 29, 2010 by Anchor. 464 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Chief among them to Western feminists--who almost universally believe feminism is impossible for women hidden behind facial veils--is this: Feminism in the Middle East is alive and well.

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Publishers Weekly

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Fernea's impressionistic, overly optimistic report on what she sees as an emerging Islamic feminist movement and consciousness is based on her two-year journey (1994-1996) through Uzbekistan, Morocco, Kuwait, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestinian settlements.

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Large Print Reviews

Overall this book offers an intriguing glimpse into the lives of some, mostly upper class, Islamic women.

Apr 05 2001 | Read Full Review of In Search of Islamic Feminism...

In her book "In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman's Global Journey", Elizabeth Warnock Fernea helps us understand and appreciate Muslim society and its struggle with modern life through an examination of the status of women there.

Jun 11 1998 | Read Full Review of In Search of Islamic Feminism...

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