Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  28 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Interview
Language:  English
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Islam Unknown (episode 1): Asma Barlas

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Professor Asma Barlas doesn't call herself a feminist - but she is a believer in 'radical sexual equality' based on a reading of the Qur'an.

Islam Unknown (episode 1): Asma Barlas

Professor Asma Barlas doesn't call herself a feminist - but she is a believer in 'radical sexual equality' based on a reading of the Qur'an. 'Unfortunately... men interpret God's word in ways that favour themselves, and then it becomes a closed circle and it is really difficult to challenge it,' says Barlas, the author of Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an.

She argues that, like other texts, the Qur'an is open to multiple readings and that Tawhid - the fundamental Muslim concept of the oneness of God - clearly transcends gender differences.

Speaking during the third Conference on Islamic Feminism, held in Barcelona, Barlas is a lively and dynamic thinker who critically engages in her own tradition, while also holding the West to account for centuries-old anti-Islamic stereotypes that are still deployed in new forms today.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. '[Elders's] approach with each subject is genuine, reverent, and introspective...It is certain that anyone fortunate enough to view this film will benefit from its broad insights, opinions, and shared knowledge.' &mdash Library Journal

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 'There is a remarkable depth and breadth to each of the eight conversations. Elders is a skillful interviewer, posing thoughtful questions and then getting out of the way of his guest's response. An excellent classroom resource, appropriate especially to academic libraries supporting religious and Middle Eastern studies, ISLAM UNKNOWN is a strong choice for public libraries as well.' -Educational Media Reviews Online

No reviews available.


Main credits

Elders, Fons (interviewer)

Other credits

Camera-sound, Nick Bolger, Betsy Torenbos; editing, Theo Raben; music, David Parsons.

Distributor credits

Docuseek2 subjects

Women's Studies
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
History of Religion
Netherlands, The

Distributor subjects

Middle East


; "Islam Unknown (episode 1): Asma Barlas"; Icarus Films;

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