The 4:34 dance

An interesting article about Islam, the Quran, and wife-beating. The author tackles the kind of issue that is fundamentally difficult when talking about "liberal interpretation" of Islam: if it's written pretty unambiguously in the Quran, it's difficult to justify change. What these interpretations miss out however is that just because something is written in the Quran doesn't mean it's universally followed or even known about. Not to mention that certain patriarchal practices are probably more about traditional conservatism and misogyny (two traits certainly prevalent among both Arab Muslims and Arab Christians) than an understanding of religion.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.