Skip to main content

Photo by Matt CashoreAn Indiana University professor will address feminism in Islamic societies during a lecture Tuesday, October 25.

Asma Afsaruddin will give the third Siddiqi Lecture in Islamic Studies at 5:30 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building. It is free and open to the public.

The Siddiqi Lecture in Islamic Studies, launched in 2014, brings top scholars in the field of Islamic studies to campus in order to foster a greater understanding of Islam in East Tennessee.

Afsaruddin’s lecture, “Islamic Feminisms: Challenging Patriarchy in Muslim-Majority Societies,” will address the culturally derived attitudes that have shaped patriarchal mindsets in Muslim communities across the world. As a Muslim feminist, she and fellow scholars turn to the Qur’an in order to recover what they say is an egalitarian message found within the sacred scripture of Islam. In Europe and the United States, there has been much confusion and controversy regarding the status of women in Islam, and especially about the veil worn by some Muslim women.

“People frequently ask what the Qur’an says about gender roles without taking the role of interpretation into account,” said Manuela Ceballos, UT assistant professor of religious studies and a Siddiqi Lecture committee member. “We’re excited to have Dr. Afsaruddin discuss how some Muslim scholars and communities have attempted to answer this question and others through different interpretations of the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad.”

Afsaruddin is a professor of Near Eastern languages and cultures in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. She specializes in the religious thought of Islam, Qur’anic texts, and gender. She has authored and edited numerous books and currently serves as the chairperson of the board of directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Washington, DC.

For more information on the Siddiqi Lecture, visit the Department of Religious Studies website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,