A Look At the Contemporary Muslim Woman and the Challenges She Faces

1927 Words 8 Pages
In her newest book, Velvet Jihad: Muslim Women's Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism, Faegheh Shirazi brings together a multitude of sources and observations to create an informative look at the contemporary Muslim women as well as the challenges she faces. This book is a scholarly look at many aspects of life for Muslim women with emphasis on contemporary struggles. Shirazi focuses on six main topics, separating them into the chapters for her book. She aims to prove that Muslim women's resistance against patriarchal policies has been historically present and is currently gaining momentum against fundamentalist Islamic practices. Chapter One of Velvet Jihad brings up the issue of honor and virginity as it is seen in the …show more content…
In Shirazi's second chapter, she analyzes Muslim women's practices in relation to childbirth and fertility, paying close attention to folklore and superstition and how they affect women's actions. Shirazi makes the point that although the Qur'an specifically forbids black magic, many women turn to it to cure infertility, or at least prevent it. She references several manuscripts and folk remedies Muslim women use, and provides global context as well by giving similar folk remedies from other parts of the world. Shirazi also writes about the internet and the way it has affected access to non-medicinal cures for infertility. Also in chapter two, Shirazi brings up the topic of abortion and how it is seen in the Muslim world. Apparently, there is just as much debate about the topic in the Middle East as in the United States. Questions about when the soul begins to inhabit the body are at the center of the debate, but Shirazi focuses more on providing background information than arguing religious justifications for abortion. Next, Shirazi talks about current Muslim women's religious practices and the growing movement of women supporting women. Finally, she gives a brief history of the Egyptian feminist movement in the early 19th century and then talks about current global organizations which provide help and support to Muslim

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