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Women and Peace in the Islamic World: Gender, Agency and Influence

Women and Peace in the Islamic World: Gender, Agency and Influence

Edited by: Yasmin Saikia, Chad Haines

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How realistic is the prospect of peace in the Muslim world? This question is the predominant focus for global analysis today, but its debate frequently ignores the cultural and social complexity of the Muslim world, reducing it into a system of states and select actors. This book addresses such a failing by exploring how the everyday interactions of women, in accordance with Islamic personal ethics, can offer the world a new interpretation of peace. In particular, it focuses on the women in Islamic societies, from Aceh to Bosnia, Morocco to Bangladesh, initiating a dialogue on the role of these women in peacemaking. This concentration upon the complex issues of the everyday both enables a detailed exploration of how people conceptualise peace and opens up new frameworks for conflict resolution. The discussions that emerge lead to a critical questioning of assumptions about peace as a state policy and cessation of violence.

Drawing upon original research from different parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, including Iran, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Egypt and Sudan, the contributors offer a refreshing new look at Muslim women as peacemakers, challenging any assumptions of Islam as an inherently violent religion. Such a timely work provides new and important analyses on the role of Muslim women in forging new pathways of peace in the contemporary world.

Author Info

Yasmin Saikia is the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Professor of History at Arizona State University. Her books include 'In the Meadows of Gold: Telling Tales of the Swargadeos at the Crossroads of Assam', 'Fragmented Memories: Struggling to Become Tai-Ahom in India and Women', 'War and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971'. Chad Haines is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Global Studies at Arizona State University and faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. He is the author of 'Nation, Territory and Globalization in Pakistan: Traversing the Margins'.


‘This is a remarkable collection. The editors deserve special praise for bringing together a divergent set of perspectives that trace the way in which Muslim women on a global level are working to bring about peace not as a distant goal but as an everyday path here and now. Highly recommended for all students of Islamic thought, women and Islam, and everyone interested in how religion can serve as a tool for creating a just and peaceful world.’
Omid Safi, Duke University, Director of Islamic Studies

‘An important and timely contribution on the vital issues of gender and
what we all yearn for – concord and harmony.’
Ziauddin Sardar, author of Mecca: The Sacred City and Editor of Critical Muslim

‘Based on innovative historical, feminist and ethnographic research, this book centres on women's peacekeeping practices as part of the everyday. It is all the more significant for its central focus on the wider Islamic world, challenging stereotypes that hinder new thinking and transnational dialogues. I recommend it highly to scholars, activists and interested readers alike concerned with peace in todays troubled times.’
Jean H. Quataert, Professor of History, Binghamton University

‘Peace and justice, love and forgiveness are categories, but also practices, that crisscross all religious, ethnic and national boundaries. In this splendid volume, Muslim women who are custodians and advocates of peace offer perspectives that broaden the spectrum of Islam in the twenty first century. Non-Muslim others amplify their insights, making this a powerful manifesto for our troubled world and those who are striving to build bridges, to console the bereaved, and, above all, to secure peace through justice.’
Bruce Lawrence, Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Religion at Duke University

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Modern Middle East Studies

ISBN: 9781784530174
Publication Date: 30 Nov 2014
Number of Pages: 336
Height: 216
Width: 138

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