From Library Journal
Americans and Europeans have long harbored a stereotype of the Islamic woman as a passive creature, without rights, veiled and locked away in a harem. While some contemporary Islamic regimes have helped foster this image, the true portrait of Islamic women is far richer and more diverse. This volume, to which 20 scholars have contributed, is part of "The New Middle Ages," a series of transdisciplinary studies of medieval cultures with an emphasis on recovering women's roles in these societies. It shows that the range of activities that medieval Islamic women engaged in was not inferior to that pursued by women in Europe. We are presented with stories of fictitious and historical women as tribal warriors, rulers of states, builders of religious and cultural edifices, and armed retainers guarding the families and property of male Muslim rulers. Most overviews of Islam have offered little coverage of the lives of Muslim women, but this work goes a long way toward rectifying that oversight. Both students of Islam and of women's studies should find this anthology useful and interesting. Recommended for academic and large public libraries with significant holdings in Islamic and women's studies.?Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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“A tantalizing glimpse into the forgotten world of women in Islamic history.” —Choice
“This collection is a welcome contribution to the study of women and medieval Islam.” —MELA Notes