Book Review: “Muslim Women Reformers” by Ida Lichter

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Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against OppressionTitle: Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression
Author: Ida Lichter
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN, PUB Date: 978-1-59102-716-4, May 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Joan Hanna for Author Exposure
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the pages of Muslim Women Reformers, a compilation by Ida Lichter of New South Wales, Australia. But this is as much a history lesson as it is a compilation of women’s dissident voices.

Lichter addresses various issues by specific geographic regions. This is a great way to approach a compilation like this one. Sectioning information in this way, allows the reader to take a more concentrated look into not only the stories, but also the cultural, historical, and current climate of each specific region.

I have very little understanding of these regions and cultures. Thankfully, Lichter begins each section with the background information necessary to lay an informed foundation for the reader to delve into the stories of over one hundred women. Giving me more insight into the everyday lives of these women, before I read their stories, permitted me to better understand what these women were saying.

The stories in Muslim Women Reformers are moving and disturbing, to say the least. This extraordinary collection highlights real life stories of intense struggle. This book shouts for the world to understand that women’s rights should be a global goal that needs the attention of every nation.

I was moved by the bravery, the courage, and the tenacity of these women. Their intelligence, strength, and sheer determination will impress and move you. Lichter’s presentation of historical and current scenarios is enlightening, frightening, and, at times, enraging. This book includes stories from an impressive twenty-seven countries: everywhere from Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iran to France, Jordan, Canada, and even the United States.

Also included in this anthology are political cartoons from various news sources that are just as chilling as the personal stories. Additionally,  an entire chapter is dedicated to the writings of several male Muslim activists, with selections from Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Bangladesh/Australia, Tunisia, and Israel. Another chapter called “Organizations Which Support Muslim Women’s Rights”, includes not only background information about these transitional organizations, but also how they are helping to support Muslim women’s rights.
Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, sums this book up so concisely when he says of Muslim Women Reformers:

“Based on wide research and an expansive definition of reform that includes everyone from soft Islamizes to ex-Muslims, Ida Lichter compellingly tells the stories of over one hundred women, organizations, and even a few men who in some way dissent from the conventional Muslim understanding of the role of the female. By bringing together this large and diverse group, the author succeeds in her important goal of amplifying the voices of dissident Muslims on whose slender shoulders so much hangs.”

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About Traci

Traci is the founder of Author Exposure and personality behind the Confessions of a Book Addict series (#litconfessions). Using her talents as both a project manager and Certified Author Assistant, she will launch launched Icart Pages, LLC in 2016 to offer personalized project management services to entrepreneurs, with a specialization in navigating authors through the publishing and marketing processes.

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