Protest at Taksim in Istanbul, 2013
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Protest at Taksim in Istanbul, 2013
Last updated: March 11, 2015

Great books on Islamic feminism

Banner Icon Literature Below is a list of books that I highly recommend to anyone interested in understanding re-interpretations of Islam, alternative readings to the traditionalist ones that are largely patriarchal in nature, or otherwise scholarship that complicate simplified ideas of Islam, women, gender, and sexuality.

These books may be a response to western, orientalist images of gender issues in Islam and Muslim societies, or they may be a response to traditionalist, patriarchal Islam’s problematic assumptions and teachings of women, gender, and sexuality — or both, as is often the case.  Either way, the following are breaths of fresh air, I promise.

Needless to say, the list is not comprehensive and not intended to be such.  I invite – and will appreciate – any and all additions.

In addition to the following scholarship, another great resource is the Religion and Feminism blog where Kecia Ali, Laury Silvers, Amina Wadud, and other Muslims write frequently on Islamic feminism and related themes. Please click these links to reach the writings of the respective authors: Kecia Ali | Laury Silvers | Amina Wadud | Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente | Jameelah X. Medina | And let me do some shameless self-promotion or whatevz and link y’all to my article over at the same blog titled Why I am an Islamic Feminist.

Islamic Feminism, Feminist/Progressive/Gender-Egalitarian Interpretations of Islam

Listed in order of author’s last name.


This piece originally appeared on Orbala's blog Freedom from the forbidden.

Shehnaz Haqqani
Shehnaz is an Islamic Studies PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include Islamic feminism, gender and sexuality in Islamic law, and female religious authority. Shehnaz frequently writes on gender issues, Pashtuns (she's an ethnic Pashtun), and Muslims in America. She blogs at http://orbala.wordpress.com
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