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Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim Women Paperback – March 5, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Miriam Adeney (Ph.D. anthropology) is professor of global and urban ministries at Seattle Pacific University and teaching fellow at Regent College. She is the author of Daughters of Islam, God's Foreign Policy: Practical Ways to Help the World's Poor, A Time for Risking: Priorities for Women and How to Write: A Christian Writer's Guide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; First Printing edition (March 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083082345X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book as an assignment for a missions class in college. I was not expecting to actually enjoy reading the book, however, I was very surprised to find this book an easy read. This book is written in a very informational style and it tells many stories about various obstacles which Islamic women face. It also provides many ways in which Christian women can relate to Islamic women. I would recommend this book for any Christian missionaries who will be working in Islamic areas of the world. I would also recommend this for women who would like to know how to effectively witness to their Islamic neighbors.
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Format: Paperback
I am not sure what book the critics below have been reading, but it is hard to believe it was this one. The most recent reviewer has nothing at all to say about the book. Another complains that Adeney has "cherry-picked" problems in Islamic societies: "I can also list all the ills in the Western society and blame it on Christianity . . . " But Adeney specifically admits that "Muslims are appalled at Western family life," with good reason, and that "millions" of Muslim women enjoy loving families. So who is this critic arguing with? (As for the critic's claim that Christianity had nothing to do with the high status of women in "Christendom," see my Jesus and the Religions of Man for detailed evidence to the contrary.)

A third critic calls Daughters of Islam "misleading and offensive because it "generalizes" Muslim women by telling "a few sad stories and makes it seem that all Muslim women are oppressed, stupid, and in need of God." This is ridiculous. Miriam Adeney has got to be about the last person on earth

to portray Muslim women as "stupid." "Oppressed?" Again, she explicitly denies this is true of "all" Muslim women; but who can honestly deny that it is true of many? A 1988 UN survey of the status of women around the world that made no explicit reference to religion, yet the countries it found had the lowest status for women were mostly Muslim. It is one thing to decry over-generalizations; another to pretend that generalizations have no force at all.

Daughters of Islam is an honest book written by a kind and personable anthropologist. It's primary audience is Christians who want to "reach Muslim women for Christ," as they put it. The book is well-written and engaging, full of lively stories.
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Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this book by a speaker at a Harvard University class. What struck me was the compassion that the author, who is an anthropologist, has for these women whose stories she tells. These are women who hail from a bevy of countries, continents, and cultures, a veritable feast for the spiritually and culturally interested.

If you're a Christian or Jew or agnostic or missionary or atheist or anthropologist (or whomever) who wants to learn more about women with Muslim backgrounds, or a Muslim who wants to understand more about Muslims in other countries who look for meaning to Jesus, this book is a treasure.
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Format: Paperback
As of posting this, I see a lot of very polarized reviews on this book. There are Christians who want to understand Muslim women in order to share their religion, and there non-Christians who feel that a book directed towards Muslim conversion is disrespectful. I'll try to stay more in the middle here!

I enjoyed reading the stories in this book. There are dozens of life stories from women who have converted from Islam to Christianity in Africa, the USA, and the Arab world. In between these stories are reflections on the challenges of family, money, education, and culture as experienced by some women in the Arab world. Miriam Adeney, a Christian anthropologist, has interviewed these women over seven years by traveling all around the world, and as a trained anthropologist she tries to be sensitive to their perspectives and the context in which they live, while being open about her own views.

Most missional Christians will find this book sensitive and loving towards people that God would like them to invite into their religious community. And yet I understand how this can be upsetting to Muslims, written by an outsider with desires and goals contrary to their own -- a Muslim book about Christians who converted to the wonderful life of Islam would be similarly upsetting to many Christians.

However, I would remind prospective readers that Adeney's audience is Christians who want to form relationships with Muslims, and for them, she writes beautiful stories that humanize Muslims for those of us who live in the West, an environment often quite negative towards Islam. These stories draw us away from stereotypes of terrorists and victims, and lead us into insight on what it means to be a woman making decision about her life, what it means to convert, and the respect and care that any religious person needs if they hope to invite someone from another faith to learn more about their own.

A book very well done!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book, extensively researched, which takes us into the fascinating lives and stories of several different Muslim women who ended up, each for her own reasons, to become followers of Christ. One wonderful aspect of the book is the way it demonstrates how very different a Muslim woman's life can be, depending on which country she comes from, how educated or not she is in terms of formal school education, as well as whether her understanding of Islam is more influenced by official teachings or by "folk" notions, what level of society she comes from, and how free or restricted her personal life has been. In the process, the author explains the backgrounds of various Muslim beliefs and practices. This is not a "how to convert a Muslim believer" manual. In fact, in the first and longest part of the book, there are cautions about things NOT to do in interacting and having conversations with Muslim women, either in their home societies or those who have come from those societies to study or live in North American or European countries. The later chapters tell the stories of certain women in Muslim societies whose lives were positively impacted by Christian aid agencies without any proselytizing having been done at all. It's not that these women wanted to convert, but they had a more positive attitude toward Christianity than before, as we too learn and benefit from personal friendships with members of other faiths.
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