American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer

Paperback | April 1, 2013

byJuliane Hammer

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Following the events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims found themselves under unprecedented scrutiny. Muslim communities in the United States suffered from negative representations of their religion, but they also experienced increased interest in aspects of their faith and cultures. They seized the opportunity to shape the intellectual contribution of American Muslims to contemporary Muslim thought as never before. Muslim women in particular—often assumed to be silenced, oppressed members of their own communities—challenged stereotypes through their writing, seeking to express what it means to be a Muslim woman in America and carrying out intra-Muslim debates about gender roles and women’s participation in society. Hammer looks at the work of significant female American Muslim writers, scholars, and activists, using their writings as a lens for a larger discussion of Muslim intellectual production in America and beyond.

Centered on the controversial women-led Friday prayer in March 2005, Hammer uses this event and its aftermath to address themes of faith, community, and public opinion. Tracing the writings of American Muslim women since 1990, the author covers an extensive list of authors, including Amina Wadud, Leila Ahmed, Asma Barlas, Riffat Hassan, Mohja Kahf, Azizah al-Hibri, Asra Normani, and Asma Gull Hasan. Hammer deftly examines each author’s writings, demonstrating that the debates that concern American Muslim women are at the heart of modern Muslim debates worldwide. While gender is the catalyst for Hammer’s study, her examination of these women’s intellectual output touches on themes central to contemporary Islam: authority, tradition, Islamic law, justice, and authenticity.

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Following the events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims found themselves under unprecedented scrutiny. Muslim communities in the United States suffered from negative representations of their religion, but they also experienced increased interest in aspects of their faith and cultures. They seized the opportunity to shape the intel...

Juliane Hammer is Assistant Professor and Kenan Rifai Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Palestinians Born in Exile: Diaspora and the Search for a Homeland.

other books by Juliane Hammer

The Cambridge Companion to American Islam
The Cambridge Companion to American Islam

Kobo ebook|Aug 12 2013

$28.29 online$36.75list price(save 23%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:295 pages, 8.97 × 5.93 × 0.68 inPublished:April 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029275440X

ISBN - 13:9780292754409

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Table of Contents

Note on TransliterationAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. A Woman-Led Friday Prayer: March 18, 20052. Women Leading Prayers: Tracing the Debate3. Gender Justice and Qur'anic Exegesis4. History, Women's Rights, and Islamic Law5. Authority, Tradition, Community6. Space, Leadership, Voice7. Media, Representation(s), Politics8. Memoirs, Narratives, and Marketing9. Covers and Other Matters: Concluding ThoughtsNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism overall is a significant and distinctive contribution to the existing discourse...the survey of manifold topics is precisely what creates the primary strength of the book; it makes the book an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the complexity of the discourse surrounding and produced by American Muslim women. - Jerusha Tanner Lamptey, Union Theological Seminary