Adeney's Book Urges Christians to Connect With Muslim Women
IT WAS ONLY A FEW MONTHS after extremist Muslims attacked the United States on September 11 that Associate Professor Miriam Adeney's new book, Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges With Muslim Women, was published. The timing of publication, though unplanned, couldn't have been better. With stories and interviews, the book personalizes a cross-section of women of Islam from around the world. And the longtime Seattle Pacific University faculty member urges Christians to begin to forge new relationships with these women.
Adeney started Daughters of Islam 10 years ago. "As an anthropologist," she says, "I was encountering wonderful material on Muslim women. But mission executives didn't have time to read it. Sometimes they lumped these women together as if they were merely interchangeable blobs behind veils. I wanted to show the richness and diversity of Muslim women's lives, as well as their struggles."
One reader of the book, a missionary in Indonesia, told Adeney that Daughters of Islam had helped her to see how she could enter into the world of her Muslim neighbors. So many readers have responded to the book's message that just four months after its publication, InterVarsity Press came out with a second edition. Portuguese and Korean translations will be published soon, and more translations are in the works.
What can American Christians do to build bridges with Muslim women? "Get to know them," says Adeney. "Learn to be a friend. Go to Middle Eastern restaurants. Wish your friends a happy festival when those times come around, and if they invite you to their festival, go. Invite them to your celebrations, including Christmas and Easter. Ask if you can tour their mosque, and invite them to tour your church.
"Then, as you have opportunity, share how Jesus Christ has made a difference in your life."
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