Of all the differences between the Muslim world and the West, perhaps none is more potentially explosive than the roles of women, whether in domestic relationships or in their potential as leaders in Islamic and world affairs.

And that, in part, is to be a topic of discussion in the upcoming symposium at The Aspen Institute, “Women, Islam and the West,” scheduled for Aug. 20-22.

The symposium, organized by the Cordoba Initiative, will feature contributions by five female Muslim scholars and leaders, two of whom are often seen in Western news media.

Daisy Khan, head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, has been a leader in the emerging international Muslim women’s movement.

In 2006, Khan, who is Kashmiri-American, was the driving force behind the first international summit, which more than 150 Muslim women leaders from 25 countries attended. She appeared in a recent PBS documentary, “Muhammad – Diary of a Prophet,” and her husband, Egyptian-American Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is a co-founder with former Aspen Mayor John Bennett of the organization sponsoring the symposium, the Cordoba Initiative.


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