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Women Shaping Islam: Reading the Qu'ran in Indonesia
by Pieternella van Doorn-Harder
University of Illinois Press, 2006
eISBN: 978-0-252-09271-8 | Cloth: 978-0-252-03077-2 | Paper: 978-0-252-07317-5
Library of Congress Classification BP63.I5D66 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 297.08209598

In the United States, precious little is known about the active role Muslim women have played for nearly a century in the religious culture of Indonesia, the largest majority-Muslim country in the world. While much of the Muslim world excludes women from the domain of religious authority, the country's two leading Muslim organizations--Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)--have created enormous networks led by women who interpret sacred texts and exercise powerful religious influence.
In Women Shaping Islam, Pieternella van Doorn-Harder explores the work of these contemporary women leaders, examining their attitudes toward the rise of radical Islamists; the actions of the authoritarian Soeharto regime; women's education and employment; birth control and family planning; and sexual morality. Ultimately, van Doorn-Harder reveals the many ways in which Muslim women leaders understand and utilize Islam as a significant force for societal change; one that ultimately improves the economic, social, and psychological condition of women in Indonesian society. 

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