Book Announcement:  Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism (ed. Omid Safi)

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Book Announcement:  Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism (ed. Omid Safi)

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Safi, a Colgate University professor, assembles a diverse set of essays by and about “progressive” Muslims. The essays vary in topic and in effectiveness, but generally seek to challenge the images of Islam held by both xenophobic Westerners and extremist Muslims. Safi’s introduction, though showing insight into many problems today’s Muslims face but rarely discuss publicly, is clunky, citing sources from Gandhi to Bob Dylan. Part I offers hard-hitting essays that are sure to be controversial in their discussion of what scholar Tazim Kassam claims is a “curtailment… of civil liberties such as freedom of inquiry and the expression of dissenting opinions” in the U.S. after September 11. There are also some triumphant essays. Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle superbly analyzes Islam’s categorization of homosexuality as a sin in an essay that is long overdue and probably the only scholarly work of its kind. Gwendolyn Simmons’s piece demands the establishment of feminism as Islamic in a touching essay-cum-memoir that connects her growth as a Muslim female to her experience as a young African-American during the Civil Rights era. The incomparable Amina Wadud offers an excellent article on racial tensions between immigrant and indigenous Muslims, while Marcia Hermansen pens the volume’s bravest and most honest contribution, addressing the increasing conservatism of her American Muslim students-a topic previously not discussed outside the Muslim community. This collection is recommended for those who yearn for realistic information about Muslims, and for Muslims who are disgruntled with current Islamic leadership.  Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

A significant and welcome effort providing an analytic overview by some contemporary progressive Muslim scholars. The book offers a very incisive critique and highlights the compelling need for a wholesome and rational approach to the issues.—Islamic Studies Journal

Developed in response to current debates on Islam, this collection of fifteen essays from leading Muslim scholars offers a frank and compelling insight into the contemporary Muslim tradition, confronting such crucial issues as pluralism, race, sexuality, and gender.


About the Author
Omid Safi is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina. He specialises in the study of the Islamic mystical tradition, the pre-modern history of the Islamic world, and contemporary Muslim thought, and has written books and articles on these subjects.

Table of Contents
List of contributors
Introduction: The times they are a-changin’ - a Muslim quest for justice, gender quality and pluralism
1 The ugly modern and the modern ugly: reclaiming the beautiful in Islam
2 In search of progressive Islam beyond 9/11
3 Islam: a civilizational project in progress
4 The debts and burdens of critical Islam
5 On being a scholar of Islam: risks and responsibilities
6 Transforming feminism: Islam, women and gender justice
7 Progressive Muslims and Islamic jurisprudence: the necessity for critical engagement with marriage and divorce law
8 Sexuality, diversity and ethics in the agenda of progressive Muslims
9 Are we up to the challenge? The need for a radical re-ordering of the Islamic discourse on women
10 Muslims, pluralism, and interfaith dialogue
11 American Muslim identity: race and ethnicity in progressive Islam
12 Islamic democracy and pluralism
13 How to put the genie back in the bottle? “Identity” Islam and Muslim youth cultures in America
14 What is the victory of Islam? Towards a different understanding of the Ummah and political success in the contemporary world
Further Reading

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Oneworld Publications (May 25, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 185168316X
ISBN-13: 978-1851683161

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