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2011 Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture

Muslim Women and the Jihad for Gender Justice

Dr. Kassam with Department of Religious Studies faculty members: Dr. Morny Joy (left) and Department Head Dr. Virginia Tumasz (right)

Zayn Kassam, Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University in California, examines how Muslim women are framed in western discourse and explores how Muslim thinkers historically situated in patriarchal contexts interpreted the Qur’an’s verses dealing with women and the family for legal and social purposes. She explores some of the challenges facing Muslim women as they struggle for gender justice and considers how Muslim gender activists have turned their attention to reading the Qur’an from a fresh perspective to ascertain whether it can be read as a women-friendly document.

Dr. Zayn Kassam holds her Ph.D. from McGill University and has been honoured with two awards for Distinguished Teaching. The author of a reference work on Islam as well as an edited volume on Women and Islam, she has lectured on Islam and gender in North America and in the United Kingdom, and has published articles dealing with gender, ethics, pedagogy and philosophy. Professor Kassam is currently working on a feminist theology in Islam.

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