The West's Relationship With Islam | Sufism

Love|Peace A 2009 Boston Globe article Mystical power is circulating as a top read.  Distinguished scholar Philip Jenkins explains that the West has not sufficiently explored its conversation with Sufism, a sect of Islam embraced by one in five Muslims worldwide.

While Sufism has a long and honorable history of fighting colonialism, it’s also opposed to fundamentalism, the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Sufi Muslim societies tend to be drawn from North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. In 2007 the RAND research center wrote a report “Building Moderate Muslim Networks,” urging the West and America to strengthen our dialogues with Sufi Muslims.

The RAND report described Sufism as having a positive view of women’s rights. Briefly searching articles on Women & Sufism, women writers assert (similar to Catholic feminists) that Muhammad was comparatively pro-female.

This article Women and Sufism by Camille Adams Helminski is informative in its many references to important Muslim Sufi women who lived comparatively active lives, compared to Muslim Arab women governed by unusually harsh and confining tribal laws.