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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and convincing case for Muslim women's equality
"Believing Women in Islam" is a must read for every individual, Muslim or non-Muslim, who labors under the misapprehension that God has spoken to the Muslims in patriarchal terms, or that Islam's holy book, the Qur'an, sanctions gender inequality. For Muslim women who already trust in their equal status before God, "Believing Women" is a tremendously satisfying read. In...
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by J.A. Zobair

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It fails the common sense test.
I read this book and learnt a lot about the apologists arguments of the status of women in Islam. As I worked my way through the fairly 'dense' arguments, I kept wondering why are the women in Afghanistan condemned to be locked behind the blue 'Burqas', why do the women in Saudi Arabia need permission from a male to even travel, why are there hardly any women visible in...
Published on May 6 2003


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and convincing case for Muslim women's equality, Oct. 29 2003
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
"Believing Women in Islam" is a must read for every individual, Muslim or non-Muslim, who labors under the misapprehension that God has spoken to the Muslims in patriarchal terms, or that Islam's holy book, the Qur'an, sanctions gender inequality. For Muslim women who already trust in their equal status before God, "Believing Women" is a tremendously satisfying read. In thoughtful and convincing tones, Asma Barlas has rigorously examined and meticulously documented the radically egalitarian text of the Qur'an. Reminding us that the Qur'an itself instructs us to read it for its best meaning and in light of its thematic whole, Dr. Barlas turns misogynistic interpretations rather definitively on their head.
With this book, Dr. Barlas has performed an invaluable service to Muslim women and their struggle both within and outside of the Muslim community. Passage by passage, sometimes even word by word, she confronts patriarchal exegesis of the Qur'an and reclaims an egalitarian reading. Skeptics who argue that Islam in practice too often fails women, as well as those who sincerely believe in misogynistic interpretations of Islam will be hard-pressed to engage Dr. Barlas' argument on its own terms--in light of a Qur'an framework and with the premise that, while people are fallible and often self-interested, God is infallible and always just.
As a Muslim woman, the journey through "Believing Women" was self-affirming and empowering. I also believe it would be of great value to my cherished and well-meaning non-Muslim friends and family who, in honest moments, no doubt still wonder how a feminist and an attorney like myself could convert to Islam.
For the same and sound reason many Muslims prefer that the Qur'an be interpreted and taught by Muslims, Muslim women have the right to hear their own voices in the ongoing discussion of what the Qur'an says about and to women. Dr. Barlas' book is an excellent place to start, and I urge everyone interested in Islam and women to buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...., March 7 2003
By 
Muneera Fontaine "just a human being" (LANDOVER, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
Well as a muslim woman I must admit to be slightly biased in my review of this book. However, I must first of all say that Asma did a very comprehensive study of the Quran, interpretations, etc. My only problem with the book and why it received four stars instead of five is that I found it to be a very hard read, and I consider myself a very proficient reader. I found myself looking up words (which I almost never do) and re-reading passages in order to better understand them. It is not a "light" or "easy" read by any means. BUT, the information that it contains is very critical to understanding the state of women in many Arab states. It also helps to separate what has been culture imposed upon the religion and what the "true" religion is. I hope that you find my review helpful...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read for all muslim women and men, Jan. 17 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
This book by Asma is a liberating phenomenon for Muslims who have suffered from misinterpretation of the Quranic text. Beyond liberating women, Asma also shows the magnificence of Islam as a liberating religion for the human race. Translating this work to other languages, especially Arabic, should be a priority. The book's only setback is its academic language which will make it hard to follow by the layperson. I believe that a simplified version of the book will help spread its message to the masses. Thank you Asma.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!, July 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
This book is the most excellent attempt to explain and differentiate the inconsistencies that have led to large-scale mis-interpretation and abuse of Quranic precepts. Ms. Barlas has done a brilliant job in writing to both Muslims and Non-Muslims. To those of you who are eager to dismiss her as an 'apologist', this book is not meant to make excuses: it simply presents a very valid view point that is defensible, even in the most rigorous academic discourse.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, March 27 2004
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This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
I give 5 stars to books that were life changing or else supremely entertaining. This book is one that helps turn tospy turvy archaic patriarchical ideas that may not really have had any palce in Islam in the first place.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clears up misconceptions about Islam being patriarchal, March 14 2004
By 
Deanna (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
Recognizing that men and women belong to a different sex
doesn't mean that they are unequal or that particular qualities can only be found in one sex.She offers a summary about where and when shariah was created and how the hadith were compiled. A few chapters of the book offer explanations on all of those verses that many Muslims and non Muslims read as saying that men are superior to women,polygamy, hijab, "wife beating", creation of man and woman, etc. However, I was surprised that she didn't cover the 2 women=1 male witness verse. Also, the problem with this book is that it is very hard to read. As a Muslim who knows a fair amount of information about Islam's history I still had trouble following her while she jumped around to various points in time and the vocabulary that's used.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It fails the common sense test., May 6 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (Paperback)
I read this book and learnt a lot about the apologists arguments of the status of women in Islam. As I worked my way through the fairly 'dense' arguments, I kept wondering why are the women in Afghanistan condemned to be locked behind the blue 'Burqas', why do the women in Saudi Arabia need permission from a male to even travel, why are there hardly any women visible in any middle eastern city, and unfortunately I found not even an attempt at answering why have the women been oppressed in Muslim countries for the last millenia. So if you are willing to suspend your belief and go through how "real" Islam "can" be interpreted personally by a muslim woman who has been living in the US for the last 20 odd years, this book is for you.
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