From Publishers Weekly
Muslim activist Abdul-Ghafur edits this book of essays and poems, all related to the experience of growing up Muslim and female in the United States. Two of the best and most absorbing essays come from African-American women: Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard, who grew up in Harlem and became a successful corporate attorney and public servant, and Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, who describes her childhood in the Nation of Islam as a dynamic, educational experience. But the tone of some of the other contributors can be whiny. Many seem marked by tragedy, varying from things unrelated to Islam (having an autistic child) to tensions arising from ethnic cultures (marrying a non-Muslim, enduring abusive semiarranged marriages). Some of the authors engage in vague spiritual discussions about the omnipresence of God and compare Islam to a forest, with male chauvinism being the weeds in the forest, but their ideas are too abstract to enhance one's understanding of Islamic spirituality. As with many anthologies, there is some repetition of ideas, not only within the book itself but also echoing themes from the authors' previous writings. Although the contributions are uneven, this anthology opens the door for other writers to explore the important and understudied topic of Muslim American women. (Sept.)
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"These are precisely the kinds of women whose voices we need to hear." —Leila Ahmed, Harvard Divinity School
"From the Islamic Bill's of Rights for Women in Mosques and in the Bedroom to the call for the Divine Feminine in Islam, this book reveals the diverse, complex, ambiguous, brilliant voices of women who are at once American and Muslim."—Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues
"This anthology presents the best of the new generation of American Muslim women." —Imam Rauf, author of What's Right with Islam
"A rich mosaic of experiences from passionate women that challenge us to redefine our understanding of Islam in general, and American Muslim women in particular. Grade: A" —Candice Levy, Girlfriends