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Paradise Beneath Her Feet

How Women Are Transforming the Middle East

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Description

Now with a new Preface and Afterword by the author
 
“Outstanding . . . [Isobel Coleman] takes us into remote villages and urban bureaucracies to find the brave men and women working to create change in the Middle East.”—Los Angeles Times
 
In this timely and important book, Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men across the Middle East are working within Islam to fight for women’s rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism. Journeying through Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, Coleman introduces the reader to influential Islamic feminist thinkers and successful grassroots activists working to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. Their advocacy for women’s rights based on more progressive interpretations of Islam are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition. Socially, culturally, economically, and politically, the future of the region depends on finding ways to accommodate human rights, and in particular women’s rights, with Islamic law. These reformers—and thousands of others—are the people leading the way forward.
 
Featuring new material that addresses how the Arab uprisings and other recent events have affected the social and political landscape of the region, Paradise Beneath Her Feet offers a message of hope: Change is coming to the Middle East—and more often than not, it is being led by women.
 
Praise for Paradise Beneath Her Feet
 
“Clearly written, deeply moving, and wonderfully enlightening.”—Reza Aslan, author of No god but God 
 
“[An] engrossing portrait of real Muslim women that reveals how Islamic feminists . . . are working with and within the culture, rather than against it . . . to forge ‘a legitimate Islamic alternative to the current repressive system.’ Coleman doesn’t diminish the enormity of the struggle, but she argues convincingly that it might yet rewrite Islam’s future.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A nuanced view of Islam’s role in public life that is cautiously hopeful.”—The Economist
 
“Eye-opening . . . Deeply religious, profoundly determined and modern in every way, these are twenty-first-century women bent on change. Hear them roar and see a future being born before our eyes.”—Booklist

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 01, 2010 – As the West comes increasingly in contact with the Muslim world, certain stereotypes have taken hold, not least the notion of the oppressed and subservient Muslim woman. The troubles these women face, it's assumed, are inherent in Islam and stand little chance of changing. Mercifully, Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, offers this engrossing portrait of real Muslim women that reveals how Islamic feminists are successfully arguing that gender inequality is contrary to both Islamic spirit and law. She examines the “gender jihad” waged by male and female feminists in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, arguing that 20th-century efforts to achieve quick results, such as anti-veiling laws, actually “sow the seeds for decades worth of Islamic backlash,” hurting women more than helping. Today, those fighting for women's advancement are working with and within the culture, rather than against it in education, business, and politics to forge “a legitimate Islamic alternative to the current repressive system.” Coleman doesn't diminish the enormity of the struggle, but she argues convincingly that it might yet rewrite Islam's future.
Paradise Beneath Her Feet
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Apr 27, 2010
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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