When Muslim women from diverse national and cultural contexts meet one another through transnational dialogue and networking, what happens to their sense of identity and social agency? Addressing this question, Meena Sharify-Funk encountered women activists and intellectuals in North America, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia - women whose lives and visions have become linked by 'the transnational' despite their differing circumstances and intellectual backgrounds. The resultant work provides a rich and cliché-bursting account of women's reflections on a wide range of topics including: the status of women in Islam, the role of women as interpreters of religious norms, the relationship between secular and religious forms of self-identification, perceptions of Islamic-Western relations, experiences of marginalization, and opportunities for empowerment. Giving careful attention both to common threads in Muslim women's experiences and to the unique voices of remarkable women, this is a compelling account of conversations that are bringing new energy and dynamism into women's activism in a world of collapsing distances.
Meena Sharify-Funk is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.