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Reveiw Of Jan Goodwin's The Price Of Honor: An In Depth Critical Analysis Of Goodwin's Book About Women And Islam.

1386 words - 6 pages

Review of Jan Goodwin's The Price of HonorIt has been nearly three years since the attack of September 11th, 2001 shocked the world. Americans and our allies were forced to take a good look at the terrorist activity originating in the Middle East. Besides reports of terrorist training camps and the possible existence of weapons of mass destruction, we found an enemy who, for various reasons, despise the basic principles that America was founded upon. This enemy is not Islam nor is it all Muslims. It is a small percentage (10 to 15%) of Islamic Muslims who are extremists. They perpetuate a doctrine that, according to many Muslim leaders, is not supported by the Koran nor the majority of the Muslim population. These extreme militant believers support an ideology that, among other atrocities, advocates the extreme abuse of women, both physically and psychologically.Jan Goodwin explored the Islamic Belt: a change of countries whose population is between 90 to 100% Muslim (Goodwin, xiii). In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Goodwin lived in the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirate states, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordon, Israeli-Occupied Territories, and Egypt. She interviewed thousands of women attempting to see behind the "Veil of Silence on the Islamic World" (Goodwin, cover). Goodwin is a journalist, not a religious studies scholar, who is reporting her findings from the perspective of a journalist with over twenty years experience in Middle Eastern politics. In 1995, she published The Price of Honor after living there for six years. In late 2001, she returned to document any changes in the status of women after the Taliban was removed from power. In 2003, she published a revised edition of her 1995 book with updates of her findings. Goodwin's basic argument is that Islamic extremism, of which the Taliban is but one regime is growing and the treatment of Muslim women is "the wind sock showing which way the wind is blowing in the Islamic World" (Goodwin, 28).Although Goodwin is a journal (or maybe because she is a journalist) her book is not free of bias and she tends to focus heavily on the political history in recent decades in the Middle East. Nearly half of every chapter, most of the first chapter, and most of the last chapter are devoted to explaining how American and European foreign polices and economic dependence on petroleum have contributed to the acceptance on the part of Moderate Muslims of extremist regimes. Although there is a certain amount of interpretation involved that color her elucidation, her facts are accurate. It is obvious that Goodwin believes Western dependence on Middle Eastern oil is a root cause of the current situation. "The politics...are not hard to understand: Iran is the world's fifth-largest oil producer, and because of America's economic embargo, all of that oil is sold to Europe and Asia instead of the United States" (Goodwin, 120). She believes that the worse the women are being...

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