Yesterday a comment on the rights of Muslim women was posted and I want to provide some information. At least for folks at the University of Minnesota, we have information about this issue from every possible direction:
- Newspaper coverage of the current issues in France about the hijab (let alone the more comprehensive burqa) in many public places - as well as coverage from Arab presses, Arab America and elsewhere across the globe.
- Books and other materials that can help explain the religious practices of Islam - we have over 7 million books in our collections!
- Databases, journals and other materials from all disciplines and fields.
For more information on these take a look at this I created guide I created to Arab-American Studies which might be a good place to start for research.
We also have films - documentaries as well as dramatic titles - that touch on many of the issues involved in Muslim women's rights. Here are just a few:
- Rights & Wrongs: The Story of Women in Islam (Women Make Movies, 2011) " For centuries the Qu'ran has been interpreted by men to suppress women, but in fact when it was written it represented an enlightened approach to women. Renowned Muslim feminist scholars and journalists, including Asra Q. Nomani, Mona Eltahawy, Azadeh Moaveni, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl and Asma Gull Hasan, detail how from early on very different understandings of the Qu'ran lead to vastly different translations, with enormous repercussions for women living in different Islamic societies around the world. The film alternates between the history of Mohammad and his women, and issues facing women in Islam today--from wearing of the veil, to praying in the mosque, and attitudes towards domestic violence and honor killings."
- Nazrah: A Muslim Woman's Perspective (Arab Film Distribution, 2003) - "A diverse group of Muslim women living in the Pacific Northwest discuss their views on Islam, Islam's image in the popular culture, and their feelings about women in Islamic culture."
- Veiled Voices (Arab Film Distribution, 2009) - "Women in the Arab world are redefining their role as leaders in Islam. Veiled voices investigates the world of Muslim women religious leaders through the eyes of three women--in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt"
- In the name of the family (Women Make Movies, 2010) - " On December 10, 2007, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, Aqsa Parvez, was strangled to death, and her father and brother are charged with her murder. Three weeks later, teenage sisters, Amina and Sarah Said, were shot to death in Dallas; their father fled the country and is still wanted for murder. Six months later a 19-year-old college student was stabbed by her brother; he was convicted and is now in jail in New York. Friends and family of the murdered girls paint a chilling portrait of the forces that led to their deaths, and Toronto schoolgirls talk about their lives of constant fear. While Muslim women organize to help girls at risk and the Imam at a Toronto mosque teaches that violence has no basis in Islam, some men continue to justify these crimes through patriarchal beliefs about family honour. This documentary challenges the traditions that lie behind the heartbreaking tragedies committed against young girls caught between two cultures in North America."
- Women of Islam veiling and seclusion (Arab Film Distribution, 2004) - "Farheen Umar travels throughout Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and the United States to interview Muslim women about Western assumptions about the practice of wearing veils. Explores the historical origins and stereotypes about veiling and confronts common misconceptions about the tradition of covering in Muslim society."
And these are just a few of the titles that we have. Whether you want to do some indepth research or just explore for your own self-education - if you need it, we probably have it!
And we are always open to your ideas, comments & suggestions!