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  • Letter to the Editors
  • Asma Barlas (bio)

Margot Badran's response (vol. 33, no. 1) to my roundtable essay, "Secular and Feminist Critiques of the Qur'an" (Fall 2016) makes some wrong and misleading claims. To be clear, I do not credit her for the term Islamic feminism but with having given the term a particular meaning. I noted this both in my essay and during one of our debates.1 As to my resisting her naming my work Islamic feminism, the reasons for the resistance kept shifting due in large measure to my dialogue with Badran herself. In fact, our exchanges over the years pushed both of us to keep refining our very different stances toward Islamic feminism. To read her letter, however, is to get no sense at all of this rich intellectual journey or of the generosity and mutuality that once underwrote our encounters. [End Page 5]

Asma Barlas
Department of Politics, Ithaca College
Asma Barlas

Asma Barlas is professor of politics at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. In 2008, she also held the Spinoza Chair in Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. She has written about Qur'anic hermeneutics, Muslim women's rights, and Western representations of Islam and Muslims; her best-known book is " Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an (2002). She was born and raised in Pakistan, where she was one of the first women to join the Foreign Service. She has a PhD in international studies, an MA in journalism, and a BA in English literature and philosophy.


1. Asma Barlas, "Four Stages of Denial, or, My On-Again, Off-Again, Affair with Feminism: Response to Margot Badran" (Discussion Series, Global Fury/Global Fear: Engaging Muslims, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, October 23, 2006).



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