Humanizing the Sacred: Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia.pdf
In recent years, global attention has focused on how women in communities of Muslims are revitalizing Islam by linking interpretation of religious ideas to the protection of rights and freedoms. " Humanizing the Sacred" demonstrates how Sunni women activists in Malaysia are fracturing institutionalized Islamic authority by generating new understandings of rights and redefining the moral obligations of their community. Based on ethnographic research of Sisters in Islam (SIS), a nongovernmental organization of professional women promoting justice and equality, Basarudin examines SIS members' involvement in the production and transmission of Islamic knowledge to reformulate legal codes and reconceptualize gender discourses. By weaving together women's lived realities, feminist interpretations of Islamic texts, and Malaysian cultural politics, this book illuminates how a localized struggle of claiming rights takes shape within a transnational landscape. It provides a vital understanding of how women "live" Islam through the integration of piety and reason and the implications of women's political activism for the transformation of Islamic tradition itself.
Azza Basarudin is a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California Los Angeles.