New York Times Reviews Professor Hossein Kamaly’s Book on Muslim Women

The New York Times offered a glowing review on March 13 of A History of Islam in 21 Women, a new book by Hossein Kamaly, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary.

The book is a compilation of 21 profiles of strong Muslim women who made their marks in history. The Times calls them “a feisty and intrepid bunch.”

In his introduction, Professor Kamaly says he wrote the book “to serve as a broad-based invitation to learn more about the role of women in the history of Islam.” Featured women range from Khadija, wife of the Prophet Muhammad and the “first believer”, to Noor Inayat Khan, a Sufi-Muslim woman who spied for the British during World War II.

In its review by author Rafia Zakaria, the Times says the “eminently readable” stories “constitute a foil against the persistent myth that Muslim women are simpering sorts awaiting rescue.”

The review goes on to say: “A History of Islam in 21 Women is an act of reclamation on several fronts. For Muslim women, it provides an empowering and exhilarating genealogy of strong forebears whom they can connect to their contemporary journeys of empowerment. For Western readers, it exposes the untruths that have characterized Muslim women as deferential beings in need of rescue.”

Congratulations, Professor Kamaly!

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