OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Expert on women and Islam to speak at OSU on Jan. 27

01/10/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Amina Wadud, who gained national notoriety in 2005 for leading a Muslim prayer service and thus breaking a taboo, will speak on “Islam, Justice, and Gender Reform” Thursday, Jan. 27, at Oregon State University.

Wadud is an emeritus professor from Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in Islam, gender and Qur'anic studies. Her talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Journey Room.

She has taught at the Religious Studies Program at Virginia Commonwealth University and the International Islamic University in Malaysia. Her background also includes advanced Arabic studies at American University in Cairo.

The 2005 controversy arose when Wadud led the prayer service in New York, deliberately breaking a centuries-old Islamic taboo against women leading men in prayer.

She's the author of several books, including “Inside the Gender Jihad: Reform in Islam,” “Introduction to Islam: A Reader,” and “Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective.” In “Qur’an and Woman,” Wadud argues that verses in the Koran used to justify the subjugation of women have been taken out of context or otherwise misused. She writes that those who believe that men are superior to women have interpreted the Koran “in accordance with those assumptions.”

Her research focuses on gender as a category of thought in Islamic intellectual history and development, with a particular focus on Islamic ethics and gender.

Wadud’s appearance at OSU is sponsored by the OSU Women Studies Program in the School of Language, Culture, and Society.