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Leila Ahmed
Book Review

Ahmad has produced an even-handed book on a touchy issue and it is already a classic. Her book is so well researched and documented that it is fit for any library, scholar or historian. At the same time Ahmad's simple and readable style is accessible to the rest of us. It compliments The Trouble With Islam very nicely. It is a must read for it deals with half of Islam in an even-handed way.

There is little Ahmed leaves untouched. Social mores, history, poverty, disease, birth control, politics, education and more are discussed with with insight and perspective as to how these affect women today.

In particular, her insights into trends of concern to women during 20th Century Islam put a new perspective on terror as practiced today. The old reactionary forces as well as ordinary circumstance are illustrated for what they are. Ahmed illustrates how women's rights have significantly progressed in parts of Islam.

In Islam it seems that modernization has as much to do with women rights as anything else. But population growth tends to limit progress for both genders.


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