This chapter analyses the Qur’an’s position on theology, sexuality, and gender, with the intent of challenging readings of Islam as a patriarchy. It illustrates that missing from Islam’s scripture is the imaginary of God as father/male and endorsements of father-rule (the traditional form of patriarchy), as well as any concept of sexual differentiation that privileges males (more modern forms of patriarchy). Indeed, many Qur’anic teachings can be read on behalf of the principle of sexual equality since they establish the ontological equality of women and men and emphasize the need for mutual care and guardianship between them. Both by re-reading some of the ‘anti-women’ verses and by applying a hermeneutical method to interpret the Qur’an—which is implicit in the text itself—the chapter also demonstrates that different interpretive strategies can change our understanding of textual meaning.
This article examines the changing role of Jordan’s largest and most organized political party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF). It begins by tracing the history and development of the IAF. It then discusses its acceptance of democratic principles such as alternation of power, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, and judicial independence, along with a reduced emphasis on Shari`ah law. It also considers the IAF’s policies on economics, education, foreign affairs, and the role of women, as well as its relations with secular and liberal parties.
Bruce B. Lawrence
This chapter explores the role of violence in Islam, specifically contrasting Islam in 611 with the Islam associated with terrorism on 9/11. When several tribes attempted to draw from the treaty that bound them to Muhammad, Abu Bakr opposed them in what became known as the Ridda wars. The Ottomans succeeded in invoking Islam, and also the doctrine of jihad. Islam became an explicit ideology and building block of public prestige for the newest Turkish Muslim Empire, and also became an idiom of protest against the gradual contraction of internal and external trade. The association of Osama bin Laden with al-Jazeera proves to be almost as significant as his decision to wage jihad. There are many ways to connect Bin Laden to the early generation of Islam. Bin Laden's legacy is one of deviance and damage rather than persistence and profit in the cause of Islam.