International interest in Muslim women has increased as their dress, behavior, and social roles are seen as symbols of socioreligious trends against a backdrop of increasingly visible religiosity in Muslim communities in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Interpretations of Islamic scriptures regarding women vary significantly and have been enshrined in law to differing degrees. Islam plays a key-yet often polarizing-role, especially as the current sociopolitical climate is such that debates about women's status are increasingly taking place in Islamic terms.

Controversy over increasing religiosity, and its impact on Muslim women, stems from debate in many Muslim communities about whether social, economic, and political institutions should be based on western or Islamic models. Analyzing the spread of disillusionment with Western ideas and practices ...

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