Last fall, Syracuse University Press published Gulf Women (2012) edited by Amira El-Azhary Sonbol (Georgetown University). The publisher’s description follows.
This groundbreaking collection of essays provides a greater understanding of the history of the Gulf and the Arab world and is of relevance to Muslim women everywhere. Featuring research never published before, Gulf Women is the result of a project aimed at finding sources and studying the history of women in the region. The chapters cover ancient history and the medieval, early modern, and contemporary periods. Presenting discourses on the life of women in early Islam, women’s work and the diversity of their economic contribution, the family—and how it changed over time—as well as the legal system and laws dealing with women and family from the pre-modern to the modern periods, this is a pioneering collection by leading scholars from Arab and international universities.
Here is an interesting story about how many Muslim female students prefer university life on Catholic campuses. Though the story somehow still manages to snicker at Catholic higher education — would it be so intolerably wrong, one wonders, to require a single course in Catholic thought or history at a Catholic university? — it conveys the comfort of devout Muslim students within a Catholic university. Though the story does not mention it, President John Garvey of Catholic University once made similar statements about the religious life of Muslim students at Catholic University in response to a cooked-up, and subsequently discredited, controversy.
Next month, Oxford University Press will publish Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies by Nader
Hashemi (University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies). The publisher’s description follows.
Islam’s relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
In May, Columbia University Press will publish The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, edited by Edwin Bakker, Professor of Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University in Holland, and Roel Meijer of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. The volume collects articles presenting different views on the Muslim Brotherhood‘s activities in Europe. The articles explore the extent to which these activities mirror the Brotherhood’s activities in the Middle East and whether their presence in Europe promotes a positive rallying force for Europe’s Muslim communities or the dangerous potential of national and international destabilization by fomenting inter-communal and inter-religious conflict.
Please see the publisher’s description after the jump. Continue reading
In this week’s Newsweek, human rights activist and commentator Ayaan Hirsi Ali documents the persecution directed at Christians in many Muslim-majority countries, often with state support, or at least indifference. She argues that concern with appearing “Islamophobic” has caused Western governments and media to avoid covering the crisis, and that Western governments must “get their priorities straight” and tie foreign aid to recipients’ willingness to protect the rights of Christians and other religious minorities. (For reasons CLR Forum has discussed, it’s not clear that Western pressure would actually help Christians living in Muslim-majority countries, who are vulnerable to the charge of being Western agents). Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim and present atheist, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Ahmad Erfani Nasab (Mofid University Legal Clinic) and Mohammad Mahdi Meghdadi (Mofid University) have posted Muslim Clerics and Leadership in Human Rights Education in Muslim Societies. The abstract follows.
Several human rights instruments have declared that human rights education is a fundamental right for all. However, human rights education in Muslim societies is still facing serious challenges most of which arise from lack of effective educational methods. Our research shows that Muslim clerics can be considered as leaders of human rights education in Muslim societies, playing an important role in addressing and dealing with most of the challenges and enhancing universal culture of human rights. The findings indicate that in an effective human rights education method resulting in flexible, accessible, acceptable and sustainable human rights, Muslim clerics can be considered to play an active role. In addition, the results highlight that this educational method can promote, localize and institutionalize human rights in such societies and can help prevent and resolve the possible conflicts between religious and human rights discourses.