The academic jargon begins in the first sentence: there are "multiple determinations of Muslim female identity." In other words, some women "appear adverse to either coding themselves as Muslim or allowing others to code them as such."

But bear with the painful prose. Lurking under the self-conscious feminist post-colonialism are a team of remarkable and fascinating Muslim women (whose very appearance in this book "codes" them as both Muslim and female).

Meet Safieh, a twenty-six-year-old Iranian living in Canada, who speaks eloquently about her family's sexism and of her own conversion to Judaism. And Zubaida, a Pakistani atheist, also living in Canada, whose family raised eyebrows when she moved in with a white man. And Donna, a Catholic from Malta who converted to Islam.

Kahn, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Nova Scotia's St. Francis Xavier University, tries too hard to force these women into neat feminist boxes--the emphasis throughout the book on modest dress, sexuality, and sexism leaves the reader with the impression that Muslim women think about little other than gender. But the Safieh, Donna, and the other sharp, savvy women Kahn profiles sparkle and rise above their dull, academic surroundings.

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