chapter
Introduction
Pages 15

The contemporary construction of gender system in Muslim societies varies across cultures depending on the degree of the confluence between local beliefs, norms, laws and practices and global forces, such as post-colonization, globalization, feminism, human rights charters and Islamization. The seamless fusion of local and global forces combines with Muslims’ quest to interpret and implement the Qur’mn and the .adåth within different Muslim localities and cultures, creating a cohesive production of knowledge that not only nourishes the intellectual pursuit, but also generates religious authoritative legitimacies. Within these different contexts-where hierarchical gender-minded Muslim men and women reiterate, strengthen and exercise the embodiment of religious legitimacies as appropriate for men and women at the theoretical and practical levels-many have embarked on an interpretation of Islamic teachings on gender issues and on questioning what Muslim societies perceive as “the truth.” These attempts are not novel, since Muslims frequently revise their understanding of Islamic teaching in the face of new challenges, and have done throughout the history.