Award-winning historian Theodore Friend recently set out alone across Asia and the Middle East on a quest to understand firsthand the life situations of women in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. Woman, Man, and God in Modern Islam recounts Friend's remarkable journey and relates hundreds of encounters and conversations with people he met along the way.
Commingling a deep respect for Islam and his faith in the potential of women to change their worlds, Friend presents an open, exploratory outsider's perspective on women in five very different Islamic cultures -- timely fare for all who wish to broaden their world horizons.
A fascinating and necessarily variegated investigation of the nature of gender relationships in some of today's most significant Muslim societies. It will constitute a much-needed corrective to the often stereotypical and generalized images and opinions regarding Muslim women that are such a common feature in the coverage of the topic by Western media.
University of Pennsylvania
"Theodore Friend's book will be a wake-up call for those who cling to the mistaken belief that Islam is a monolithic faith and who have a one-size-fits-all view of Muslims. Friend is an able guide on this fast-paced journey that explores how faith, gender, and politics intersect and collide in five different countries. Along the way, he introduces us to a host of fascinating individuals, some of them inspiring and some disturbing...An insightful and persuasive assessment of the challenges and opportunities confronting the Muslim world.
"This superbly written account is scholarly in its method and detail yet accessible to readers who are unfamiliar with the terrain covered. Friend is rigorous in his scrutiny and scrupulously fair. His numerous interviews provide insights into both the daily concerns and the deeper questions faced by the societies encountered. This excellent book deserves to be widely read.
Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths, Melbourne School of Theology
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