Do Muslim Women Need Saving? is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam. It offers a detailed, moving portrait of the actual experiences of ordinary Muslim women, and of the contingencies with which they live.
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Young British Muslims continue to generate strong interest in public discourse. However, much of this interest is framed in negative terms that tends to associate them with criminality, religious extremism or terrorism. Focusing instead on other aspects of being young, Muslim and British, this volume takes a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to ‘normalise’ the subjects and focus on their everyday lived realities. Structured into three sections, the collection begins by contextualising the study of young British Muslims, before addressing the sensitive social issues highlighted in the media and finally focusing on a variety of case studies which investigate the previously unexplored lived experiences of these young people. With contributions from scholars of religion, media and criminology, as well as current and former practitioners within youth and social work contexts, Young British Muslims: Between Rhetoric and Realities will appeal to scholars who have an interest in the fastest growing, most profiled minority demographic in the UK.
Patriarchy, particularly as embedded in the Old and New Testaments, and Roman legal precepts, has been a powerful organising concept with which social order has been understood, maintained, enforced, contested, adjudicated and dreamt about for over two millennia of western history. This brief book surveys three influential episodes in this history: seventeenth-century debates about absolutism and democracy, nineteenth-century reconstructions of human prehistory, and the broad mobilisations linked to twentieth-century women's movements. It then looks at the way feminist scholars have reconsidered and revised some earlier explanations built around patriarchy. The book concludes with an overview of current uses of the concept of patriarchy – from fundamentalist Christian activism, over foreign policy analyses of oppressive regimes, to scholarly debates about forms of effective governance. By treating patriarchy as a powerful tool to think with, rather than a factual description of social relations, the text makes a useful contribution to current social and political thought.
First published in 1986, Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments has become a classic ethnography in the field of anthropology. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations, morality, and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But Abu-Lughod’s analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of social hierarchy. What begins as a puzzle about a single poetic genre becomes a reflection on the politics of sentiment and the complexity of culture. This thirtieth anniversary edition includes a new afterword that reflects on developments both in anthropology and in the lives of this community of Awlad 'Ali Bedouins, who find themselves increasingly enmeshed in national political and social formations. The afterword ends with a personal meditation on the meaning—for all involved—of the radical experience of anthropological fieldwork and the responsibilities it entails for ethnographers.
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
Frequently in partnership, but sometimes at odds, religious institutions and public health institutions work to improve the well-being of their communities. There is increasing awareness among public health professionals and the general public that the social conditions of poverty, lack of education, income inequality, poor working conditions, and experiences of discrimination play a dominant role in determining health status. But this broad view of the social determinants of health has largely ignored the role of religious practices and institutions in shaping the life conditions of billions around the globe. In Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health, leading scholars in the social sciences, public health, and religion address this omission by examining the embodied sacred practices of the world's religions, the history of alignment and tension between religious and public health institutions, the research on the health impact of religious practice throughout the life course, and the role of religious institutions in health and development efforts around the globe. In addition, the volume explores religion's role in the ongoing epidemics of HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's disease, as well as preparations for an influenza pandemic. Together, these groundbreaking essays help complete the picture of the social determinants of health by including religion, which has until now been an invisible determinant.
An interdisciplinary collection, Gender and Culture at the Limit of Rights examines the potential and limitations of the "women's rights as human rights" framework as a strategy for seeking gender justice. Drawing on detailed case studies from the United States, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere, contributors to the volume explore the specific social histories, political struggles, cultural assumptions, and gender ideologies that have produced certain rights or reframed long-standing debates in the language of rights. The essays address the gender-specific ways in which rights-based protocols have been analyzed, deployed, and legislated in the past and the present and the implications for women and men, adults and children in various social and geographical locations. Questions addressed include: What are the gendered assumptions and effects of the dominance of rights-based discourses for claims to social justice? What kinds of opportunities and limitations does such a "culture of rights" provide to seekers of justice, whether individuals or collectives, and how are these gendered? How and why do female bodies often become the site of contention in contexts pitting cultural against juridical perspectives? The contributors speak to central issues in current scholarly and policy debates about gender, culture, and human rights from comparative disciplinary, historical, and geographical perspectives. By taking "gender," rather than just "women," seriously as a category of analysis, the chapters suggest that the very sources of the power of human rights discourses, specifically "women's rights as human rights" discourses, to produce social change are also the sources of its limitations.
This book assesses whether a new category of religious actors has been constructed within international law. Religious actors, through their interpretations of the religion(s) they are associated with, uphold and promote, or indeed may transform, potentially oppressive structures or discriminatory patterns. This study moves beyond the concern that religious texts and practices may be incompatible with international law, to provide an innovative analysis of how religious actors themselves are accountable under international law for the interpretations they choose to put forward. The book defines religious actors as comprising religious states, international organizations, and non-state entities that assume the role of interpreting religion and so claim a 'special' legitimacy anchored in tradition or charisma. Cutting across the state / non-state divide, this definition allows the full remit of religious bodies to be investigated. It analyses the crucial question of whether religious actors do in fact operate under different international legal norms to non-religious states, international organizations, or companies. To that end, the Holy See-Vatican, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and churches and religious organizations under the European Convention on Human Rights regime are examined in detail as case studies. The study ultimately establishes that religious actors cannot be seen to form an autonomous legal category under international law: they do not enjoy special or exclusive rights, nor incur lesser obligations, when compared to their respective non-religious peers. Going forward, it concludes that a process of two-sided legitimation may be at stake: religious actors will need to provide evidence for the legality of their religious interpretations to strengthen their legitimacy, and international law itself may benefit from religious actors fostering its legitimacy in different cultural contexts.
Multiculturalism is now seen by many of its critics as the source of intercultural and social tensions, fostering communal segregation and social conflicts. While the cultural diversity of contemporary societies has to be acknowledged as an empirical and demographic fact, whether multiculturalism as a policy offers an optimal conduit for intercultural understanding and social harmony has become increasingly a matter of polarised public debate. This book examines the contested philosophical foundations of multiculturalism and its, often controversial, applications in the context of migrant societies. It also explores the current theoretical debates about the extent to which multiculturalism, and related conceptual constructs, can account for the various ethical challenges and policy dilemmas surrounding the management of cultural diversity in our contemporary societies. The authors consider common conceptual and empirical features from a transnational perspective through analysis of the case studies of Australia, Canada, Columbia, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, comparative politics, international studies, multiculturalism, migration and political sociology.