Matching Items (19)

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On Islamic Feminism: Feminist Interpretation of the Quran and the Fight for Gender Equality

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In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for

In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam has perpetuated patriarchal power structures in the Muslim world. Today, feminist sentiment is on the rise in the Islamic world as more and more women are becoming engaged in this fight for gender equality. Islamic feminism reclaims the Quran as its justification and involves the struggle for gender equality grounded in this justification. I divulge into two linked claims: a normative one where gender equality is justified in Islam, and a descriptive one which posits that male domination over interpretive powers has distorted the way Islam has been practiced traditionally, thus placing women in a disadvantaged position. Islamic feminists, I have found, seek to reject the widespread patriarchal interpretation of the Quran by first, reinterpreting the Quran as an equalizing force, and then implementing Islamic feminism in the public sphere. I show that they do this by engaging politically and civically through activism, education, and political involvement — this I refer to as civic Islam, highlighting that public engagement is an inherent Islamic duty. For this end, I cite several countries — including Iran, Yemen, Tunisia — in which Islamic feminists have taken up the mantle as activists, and what their impact has been through brief case studies. In the end, I include my reflection on Islamic feminism as a college-educated Muslim woman having grown up in a Western, liberal society.

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  • 2017-05

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Mormon and Muslim Women Within Their Religions: A Comparative Analysis

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Throughout modern culture and the political arena religious intolerance and misinformation runs rampant. Recent presidential elections have brought two minority religions (in the U.S.) to the forefront of national media

Throughout modern culture and the political arena religious intolerance and misinformation runs rampant. Recent presidential elections have brought two minority religions (in the U.S.) to the forefront of national media attention and national dialogue-leading to presumptions, misunderstandings, and personal opinions that don't necessarily address the realities of the religions. Brought to the forefront by presidential candidates religions or by candidates targeting individual religions for their "connections" to terrorism, the LDS Church and Islam have become targets of religious bias and attacks. Even further attacked have been the women within these religions-who have often been deemed as objectified and oppressed as a result of their religions. This thesis examines religious text and scholarly work to take an objective examination of the religions and describes the realities of the life for the women-separating actual doctrine in the religion from what is a cultural norm and not a representation of the religion itself. By looking at women's roles and the dress code within Islam and Mormonism, this thesis compares Mormon and Muslim women and shows that they are integral parts of their religion with agency, not objectified victims of a system.

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  • 2016-12

The Islamic State: A Historical, Ideological, and Methodological Analysis of the Organization and its Rhetoric

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The Islamic State also known as ISIS is an organization and a self-proclaimed state that emerged from many diverse factors. Its roots lie with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966—2006),

The Islamic State also known as ISIS is an organization and a self-proclaimed state that emerged from many diverse factors. Its roots lie with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966—2006), the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the ideologies of various modern-day Jihadi-Salafist. ISIS proclaimed a world-wide Caliphate in 2014 and named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its Caliph. Muslim, non-Muslim states and Islamic authorities however, rejected its claim to statehood or caliphate. The goal of this thesis is to understand the development of this new phenomenon by analyzing its history, rhetoric, ideology and practice. Prior to its creation, the tensions in Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime and its relationship to the first and the second Iraq war in 1990-91 and 2003 as well as the creation of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan that led to the emergence of a new phenomenon, global jihadism. The main ideology that the Islamic State promotes is a form of Jihadi-Salafism that claims to unite Muslims against all non-Muslim governments in order to bring “true Islam” back into the world. To do this, jihadists justify the establishment of the Caliphate in an effort to provide legitimacy to their actions, appealing to young people who often times are seduce by their eschatology. Once individuals join, they are taught concepts pertaining to martyrdom to establish loyal to the organization and its cause. To win people over, the Islamic State employs modern methods of communication that includes social media such as Youtube and Twitter, as well as magazines such as Dabiq. These resources address the online community and specifically attract individuals who feel isolated from their communities, or individuals who wish to create an impact on the world. Overall, the Islamic State, although it employs Islamic symbols and scriptures in their claim of representing all Muslims, does not adhere to, nor respect the historical and intellectual discussions of Islam in favor of their own political agenda. Its adherents utilize concepts from certain Salafi and Wahhabi ideals, emphasizing jihad as defensive war against the West in an attempt to isolate parts of society so that they can retain control. They ignore the main concept of mercy within the Islamic faith. Muslims in the Arizona community agree that the Islamic State is not a representation of Islam in this world and should not be equivocated with the Islamic practices that more than 1.6 billion Muslims practice in their daily life.

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  • 2016-05

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Between Justice and Judgment: An Analysis of Free Will in Mu'tazilism

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The Mu’tazila were a group of early Islamic rationalists whose primary philosophical project was to reconcile God’s perfectly just nature, as well as the existence of a judgment day, with

The Mu’tazila were a group of early Islamic rationalists whose primary philosophical project was to reconcile God’s perfectly just nature, as well as the existence of a judgment day, with human free will. Drawing on Greek logical precepts, the Mu’tazila rejected the idea that human actions were caused solely by God, thereby affirming that humans have at least some degree of originative power. In this thesis, I will present a logical analysis of the Mu’tazila’s rejection of determinism, as well as their position on human-originated action, primarily using Qadi Abd al-Jabbar’s Book of the Five Principles as my source text. I will then present some of the primary views in contemporary free will discourse and compare these views to those of the Mu’tazila. The aim of my thesis is to present a logically rigorous picture of free will under Mu’tazilism, as well as to highlight the relevance of Mu’tazilism within contemporary discussions of free will.

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  • 2020-05

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Indigenous Islam: A Guidebook to the Muslim Students Association of ASU as an Institution of American Muslim Culture

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Building sustainable American Muslim institutions is critical for the development of an embedded, productive and contributing American Muslim community. The Muslim Students Association is a springboard for emerging young American

Building sustainable American Muslim institutions is critical for the development of an embedded, productive and contributing American Muslim community. The Muslim Students Association is a springboard for emerging young American Muslim leaders to learn how to develop American Muslim organizations, network and provide services for the community. This guidebook is designed to sustain the growth of this organization at ASU.

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  • 2016-05

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A western woman's exodus into feminism in Islam

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9/11 is a suspended moment in history that changed the lives of everyone alive in that moment forevermore. Some became zealous patriots, others despised the United States more, and I

9/11 is a suspended moment in history that changed the lives of everyone alive in that moment forevermore. Some became zealous patriots, others despised the United States more, and I was utterly scared. I was scared for many reasons: For starters bombs, violence and hatred visited my country's doorstep. Not only that, but I was a victim of a crime I couldn't logically comprehend. I was unaware of the ongoing tension between the west and the Middle East. I was unaware of the Twin Towers, and I was fully unaware of my vulnerabilities. These emotions triggered a zeal and inspired me to study our "enemy" and try to understand why I was, personally, was their victim. I started reading any and all books that had the keywords I heard in the mainstream media: terrorism, Afghanistan, Taliban, Islam and more. I was afraid to ask questions. Independently I studied many different texts, most of which I share in this document. My autodidactic nature helped me to familiarize myself with the region, its culture and history of conflict with the U.S. I was thankful for three particular books that fomented my interest in the feminism in Islam movement. My essay features these three titles, and my development into an advocate for the movement. I hope to lend my journalism writing and communication skills to the Muslim women of the world who envision a movement rooted in Qur'anic truth and social progress.

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  • 2014-05

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Vanguard of Collective Virtue: Constitutional Illiberalism in the Muslim Brotherhood

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I argue that the most important value put in jeopardy by the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in post-Mubarak Egypt is not democracy but liberalism. Further, I find that that

I argue that the most important value put in jeopardy by the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in post-Mubarak Egypt is not democracy but liberalism. Further, I find that that the lens of religion is insufficient to explain and understand the Brotherhood's illiberal tendencies. A review of the group's rhetoric, along with an examination of the literature on collectivism and individualism, reveals that the Brotherhood's collectivist worldview is at the heart of its opposition to liberalism, an inherently individualistic value. I conclude that viewing the Brotherhood as a movement motivated by a collective sense of morality would provide policymakers and academics with greater insight into the group's behavior and policy positions, facilitating deeper comprehension and greater predictability.

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  • 2013-05

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Hijrah to the Islamic State: A Preliminary Analysis

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In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people

In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people from various parts of the world attempting to enter Syria and join the terrorist organization. Using techniques from discourse and propaganda analysis I examine how the author of the text uses discursive resources to construct the reader of the text, the author's expectations for the reader, and the act of traveling to Syria. I then use news articles from varying organizations as well as the Islamic State-produced periodical magazine Dabiq to locate the document within the context of Islamic State affairs and propaganda. Subsequently, I show that the use of discursive resources is consistent with the ethos espoused in Dabiq, and in addition to serving as a guide to entering Syria Hijrah to the Islamic State is also a soft introduction into the radical belief systems of the terrorist group itself.

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  • 2016-05

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I'jaz al Qur'an: A Literary and Historical Analysis of the Inimitability of the Qur'an

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The term I'jaz al Qur'an refers to the inimitable quality of the Qur'an. The doctrine of inimitability comes directly from the Qur'anic text itself: And if you are in doubt

The term I'jaz al Qur'an refers to the inimitable quality of the Qur'an. The doctrine of inimitability comes directly from the Qur'anic text itself: And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful (The Qur'an Al-Baqarah 2:23). This verse is one of the verses of tahaddi (challenge) that challenges mankind to imitate just one chapter of the Qur'an. The doctrine of inimitability comes directly from this verse and four others throughout the Qur'an. It took about two centuries after the revelation of the Qur'an for the topic i'jaz to become the subject of mass scholarly activity. Reasons for the sudden increase in scholarly activity surrounding i'jaz include such historical events as the emergence of Sufism, the mu'tazalah school of theology, the shu'ubiyyah movement, and the Muslim-Christian interactions during the ninth century. Scholarly activity on has produced several theories on i'jaz from the likes of classical Islamic scholars including Abu Ishaq al-Nazaam, Al-Qadi Abd Al-Jabbar, Abu Bakr Abd al-Qahir bin Abd ar-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Jurjani, Abu Bakr Muammad ibn al-Tayyib al-Baqillani, and Muhammad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi. These theories of i'jaz, while sharing many similarities, were chosen for this analysis due to the key differences they exhibit. These differences are often associated with the theological school and area of expertise of the given scholar, all of which will be explored thoroughly.

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  • 2014-05

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Paradox of Healing and Stigmatization: A Study of Mental Health Stigma in Arab Culture

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While the concept of healthcare is largely respected in Arab culture, the stigma underlying mental health is particularly startling. This study examined the differences in mental health treatment-seeking behaviors using

While the concept of healthcare is largely respected in Arab culture, the stigma underlying mental health is particularly startling. This study examined the differences in mental health treatment-seeking behaviors using data from Arabs living in Syria (12.9%) and Arabs (25.6%) and non-Arabs (61.5%) living in the United States of ages 18-60. A Web-based survey was developed to understand how factors like religiosity, acculturation, and positive attitudes towards psychological treatment increased help-seeking behaviors. This survey was also provided in Arabic to include non-English speaking participants. It was hypothesized that Arab-American individuals will be more open to pursuing professional psychological help when suffering from mental symptomology (i.e. anxiety) than individuals who identified as Syrian-Arabs. In contrast, both Syrian-Arabs and Arab-Americans would definitely pursue professional help when suffering from physical symptomology (i.e. ankle sprain). Striking differences were found based on Western acculturation. Findings suggested that Arab-Americans were less inclined towards treatment and more trusting of an in-group physician ("Dr. Ahmed") whereas Syrian-Arabs were more inclined to pursue psychological treatment and preferred to trust an out-group physician ("Dr. Smith"). The results of this study identify main concerns regarding Arab attitudes towards seeking mental health treatment, which can better inform future research and mental health services for this minority.

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  • 2015-05