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Miniskirts, Mothers & Muslims: A Christian Woman in a Muslim Land

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A startling look at the Muslim world, through the eyes of a western Christian in a Muslim family. For Christians who work with, live with, or minister to Muslims, this book helps explain the whats and whys of the world of Muslim women. Also dealt with are topics such as role models, segregation, restrictions, opportunities, family life, and unwritten rules.


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A startling look at the Muslim world, through the eyes of a western Christian in a Muslim family. For Christians who work with, live with, or minister to Muslims, this book helps explain the whats and whys of the world of Muslim women. Also dealt with are topics such as role models, segregation, restrictions, opportunities, family life, and unwritten rules.

30 review for Miniskirts, Mothers & Muslims: A Christian Woman in a Muslim Land

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This was an interesting read which dispelled some of the misconceptions about Islam, and opened my eyes to some of the things that Muslims think about Christians. I didn’t realise that a lot of Muslims equate Westerners with Christians (so if they see western TV shows, they think the people depicted are what Christians are like). I also didn’t realise that people in Eastern cultures need other people around them so much more than we do in the West. “However, most Easterners, whether women or men, This was an interesting read which dispelled some of the misconceptions about Islam, and opened my eyes to some of the things that Muslims think about Christians. I didn’t realise that a lot of Muslims equate Westerners with Christians (so if they see western TV shows, they think the people depicted are what Christians are like). I also didn’t realise that people in Eastern cultures need other people around them so much more than we do in the West. “However, most Easterners, whether women or men, simply just do not like being alone. Sunbathers cluster in patches on beaches, leaving wide open spaces. People search out someone to eat with, shop with and walk with. Traditional families often sleep in the same room. Being a lone is a kind of solitary confinement, and caring societies don’t let it happen. It is a sign of suspected mental illness.” I think I’d be mentally ill if I wasn’t allowed to be alone some of the time! This book was thought-provoking and made me take a look at some of the customs I take for granted and it provided some interesting pointers on dealing with people of the Islamic faith.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    A helpful read for those planning to serve cross-culturally in Muslim contexts. It was very informative and filled with important stories to better understand the difference between Islamic and Christian religions and how perceptions may be misconstrued in various contexts. It helped me to see the necessity of adapting to various cultural customs of the country you are living in, in order to respect and honor the individuals in this context. Although this book was not as relevant to the country A helpful read for those planning to serve cross-culturally in Muslim contexts. It was very informative and filled with important stories to better understand the difference between Islamic and Christian religions and how perceptions may be misconstrued in various contexts. It helped me to see the necessity of adapting to various cultural customs of the country you are living in, in order to respect and honor the individuals in this context. Although this book was not as relevant to the country I will be serving in, it was still a good reminder to be careful how we present ourselves in unique cultural contexts and to learn more about the cultural appropriations and perceptions of a place before you move there, so as to fully honor the individuals in the culture and appropriately maintain relationships. Although we often have “good intentions” in our interactions with people of different cultures and religions, often it mistakenly underestimate how these intentions are perceived as offensive or vastly inappropriate. It was a humbling reminder to go into the country I will be serving in with a heart to adapt and learn how to honor the new culture I will be living in.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Such an interesting read. This book was required reading for a mission trip to London where we will be working with Muslim women. Reading about Muslim culture (with emphasis on how it may differ nationally and regionally) challenged assumptions I had and opened my eyes to the many merits and fascinating aspects to such a rich and diverse culture. I am in awe of the degree of hospitality and kindness valued in these cultures, some ways the collectivistic mindset is demonstrated, and the weight of Such an interesting read. This book was required reading for a mission trip to London where we will be working with Muslim women. Reading about Muslim culture (with emphasis on how it may differ nationally and regionally) challenged assumptions I had and opened my eyes to the many merits and fascinating aspects to such a rich and diverse culture. I am in awe of the degree of hospitality and kindness valued in these cultures, some ways the collectivistic mindset is demonstrated, and the weight of relationships. Christine Mallouhi has written a book full of anecdotes, personal and otherwise, encapsulating 30+ years of living missionally amongst Muslims as an evangelical Christian. As Mallouhi states toward the end of the book, "These stories are not giving you the solutions. They are simply alerting you to the main issue I have chosen from among many, to address." In this way, this book is by no means exhaustive but is a great starter for anyone interested in learning more about Muslim culture from the perspective of an evangelical Christian and what it may look like "to live honorably among Muslims for Christ's sake".

  4. 5 out of 5

    ALAGBooks

    2/17 - Recommended by Dr. Mark A. Hausfeld became president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), who presented "Islam in America and the Local Church" at ALAG Cupertino, CA Feb. 25, 2017. 2/17 - Recommended by Dr. Mark A. Hausfeld became president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), who presented "Islam in America and the Local Church" at ALAG Cupertino, CA Feb. 25, 2017.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kari Johnson

    I learned a lot about Islamic culture from this book, and I really enjoyed it! This book was clear and insightful. And what a great point - if we want to minister to people, we must do so in an appropriate way for their culture, and not ours!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Although I was overwhelmed at times with how the "rules" can change depending on the people-group and where they live, this was very insightful for learning more about the Muslim/Eastern culture. It also made me think about our culture and now different we are from the culture of Jesus' day. (i.e. we are individualistic in the USA whereas the Eastern cultures are focused on the good of the community first before the individual.) This was a good reminder that we "assume" what culture should look Although I was overwhelmed at times with how the "rules" can change depending on the people-group and where they live, this was very insightful for learning more about the Muslim/Eastern culture. It also made me think about our culture and now different we are from the culture of Jesus' day. (i.e. we are individualistic in the USA whereas the Eastern cultures are focused on the good of the community first before the individual.) This was a good reminder that we "assume" what culture should look like based on how we were raised. Both cultures have a lot of ways of relating that are second-nature to them - because they were taught that way from birth. In both cultures, there can be reasons for doing things certain ways - it would be helpful for both cultures to be curious about the hidden reasons the other culture does things. (for example, Western women might assume that a veiled woman is feeling oppressed but many veiled women dress this way to honor God and the veil gives her freedom to move about in society rather than "oppression" of staying home...the men in their lives see it as protecting their women from other men, thus protecting the family and the community). Having just read Steeple Envy, I'm in a place of being curious as to what Jesus desires The Church to look like...thinking outside of the typical "box" model that I've grown up with...are there things that we could learn from other cultures? Here is part of chapter 8 - Living as Family - that was challenging: pages 146-151 In the Celtic church, womanhood, manhood and the family were valued and lived out to the full. Although a calling to the single life was valued, family life was woven into the heart of the church and society...[this family model is what most Muslim/Eastern communities are like.]... Often Western efforts to help have had the opposite result because we implant our Western individualistic understanding of relationships and our preferred methods of learning. The typical way Western Christians encourage each other is by teaching one-to-one Bible studies. We gather around a book. This pattern has been implanted around the world with the Western Christian teaching the local. In the West there appears to be too much formal teaching in churches and too little practical side-by-side example. The current way that Western Christians approach discipleship is similar to the way they do everything else in life: study a book written by an expert. The way to live the Christian life appears to be amassing enough information to parrot back the right answers. ...If sharing faith is only explaining what I believe is truth about God, then I am not giving very much to the non-Christian. Christ himself is the message, not the book. It is possible to give people the book and not leave them with Christ. .... One Muslim who loves literature commented that a book is a symbol of punishment for many by the time they finish school. The Western Christian then gives the impression that following Christ means to memorise a large book and amass all the information about what God is like and how God works. When one has mastered all these doctrines the person graduates a Christian.... Follow Christ's example and live with your friends, joining with them in all the affairs of daily life under their conditions. People do not only need the Book in their hand with instructions how to live. They need your hand in theirs, sharing their lives along with the book. This is the heart of the Christian message. God does not rely on a book of instructions. Christ came and lives with us. As I journey with Muslims, exploring faith, at times I am the host bringing something new and precious to them, in the hopes they will accept it; and at other times, I am the guest receiving something precious from them. We do not pretend that there are no differences between our faiths, but we do not need to denounce each other's beliefs either. We share a common desire, a common longing, to return to the Father's house..... In the New Testament the church is described as the family of God. Yet, the sense of family can be missing. It is especially difficult for people to share with others if they have nothing in common and the only shared experiences is the formal meeting time. The Christian family needs shared family experiences together, just as a family does. This type of fellowship should be a regular part of our lives. It bonds our local church because it combines two of the most important aspects of community-based culture: hospitality (the meetings are centered on sharing food) and family. We grow into becoming a family as we spend time growing closer to each other, caring for each other and supporting each other. This means our homes are open to each other during the week and we meet together for mutual support. We become the family of God before we master all the biblical facts about what the Christian community should look like. Then when we read about the necessity of meeting together and of the kinship of believers, we understand the importance of these principles because they are already part of our lives...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tara Ravi

    Read as part of a study on Islamic-oriented feminism

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    While this book was written for a Christian audience, the rules and suggestions laid out are good for any non-Muslim travelers to the Middle East. The book covers etiquette, dress codes, male-female roles, and what to do/not to do if you're invited into a home. It was a very quick read and a must if you're traveling to a largely Muslim country and don't have much of an idea about cultural norms or gender expectations whilst visiting. I wish the book had been longer, and a little more descriptive While this book was written for a Christian audience, the rules and suggestions laid out are good for any non-Muslim travelers to the Middle East. The book covers etiquette, dress codes, male-female roles, and what to do/not to do if you're invited into a home. It was a very quick read and a must if you're traveling to a largely Muslim country and don't have much of an idea about cultural norms or gender expectations whilst visiting. I wish the book had been longer, and a little more descriptive about cultural aspects and given more varying cultural scenarios (most cultural situations given are from Morrocan and Egyptian experiences).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book is most valuable just for the wealth of examples and personal experience that Mallouhi shares. Her long experience of getting to hear "both sides" of cross-cultural interactions allows her to give an incredible amount of insight on Muslim values and responses to Westerners that I doubt many Westerners in Muslim countries have been able to hear. Theoretically, I don't know that I agree with all of her opinions on how Muslims and Westerners should relate, but the examples of problems wit This book is most valuable just for the wealth of examples and personal experience that Mallouhi shares. Her long experience of getting to hear "both sides" of cross-cultural interactions allows her to give an incredible amount of insight on Muslim values and responses to Westerners that I doubt many Westerners in Muslim countries have been able to hear. Theoretically, I don't know that I agree with all of her opinions on how Muslims and Westerners should relate, but the examples of problems with how they currently relate make the book worth reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mom

    I found this a confusing book as the author seems to be excusing the behavior of this "faith group" by citing culture, customs, and personal eccentricities as the excuse for extreme behavior on the part of Muslims. Surely, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" is required. However, the "rules of engagement" are highly arbitrary. It only convinced me I couldn't win for losing in this atmosphere... I found this a confusing book as the author seems to be excusing the behavior of this "faith group" by citing culture, customs, and personal eccentricities as the excuse for extreme behavior on the part of Muslims. Surely, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" is required. However, the "rules of engagement" are highly arbitrary. It only convinced me I couldn't win for losing in this atmosphere...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate F

    This was a book recommended on the forum of my OU course, Introducing Religions, as a way in to understanding Islam. It was a good clear read that has helped me see Islam from a new perspective and as such will hopefully help me in me upcoming assignment. I would recommend this book to anyone who was going to spend time in a largely Muslim country to help them assimilate a little easier into a totally different environment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarai

    I enjoyed the book and found it helpful. I do think it was a little scattered I felt as if I was learning about veiling one second then the next about food then about modesty then about the Bible only to finally end back up at veiling... all in all very insightful but could've been better organized. I enjoyed the book and found it helpful. I do think it was a little scattered I felt as if I was learning about veiling one second then the next about food then about modesty then about the Bible only to finally end back up at veiling... all in all very insightful but could've been better organized.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susanna

    Honest, insightful, practical. Most thought-provoking quote: "If sharing faith is only explaining what I believe is truth about God, then I am not giving very much to the non-Christian. Christ himself is the message, not the book. It is possible to give people the book and not leave them with Christ." Honest, insightful, practical. Most thought-provoking quote: "If sharing faith is only explaining what I believe is truth about God, then I am not giving very much to the non-Christian. Christ himself is the message, not the book. It is possible to give people the book and not leave them with Christ."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Western Christian missionary wife living in Middle East stresses importance of trying to show respect thru acceptable dress and manners towards Muslim Arab cultures in order to make one's time spent there more enjoyable, to gain friendship and expand one's perspective (as well as to counter stereotypes of Americans and Christians). Many examples. Western Christian missionary wife living in Middle East stresses importance of trying to show respect thru acceptable dress and manners towards Muslim Arab cultures in order to make one's time spent there more enjoyable, to gain friendship and expand one's perspective (as well as to counter stereotypes of Americans and Christians). Many examples.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is a great, practical book about cultural norms in Muslim countries. She shares lots of stories of how westerners have made many a faux pas. The toughest part... every people group is different, so what may be acceptable in north Africa is offensive in the middle east. Bottom line - don't assume anything. This is a great, practical book about cultural norms in Muslim countries. She shares lots of stories of how westerners have made many a faux pas. The toughest part... every people group is different, so what may be acceptable in north Africa is offensive in the middle east. Bottom line - don't assume anything.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Mcclary

    The author had many stories to illustrate her points which helped to make it interesting. However, having lived for a short time in a city with a strong Muslim community I questioned some of the facts she gave.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    A good look at Muslim culture from the viewpoint of women.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ally

    This book was very eye opening and easy to read. I read it in less than two days. It was a very witty presentation of the differences of the Eastern and Western cultures.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Hauber

    Good examples from her experience, but many of them are quite dated.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    I'm reading this book outloud with my wife. I find it to be very enlightening. This should be read with Carl Medearis' book Pillars and Prophets I'm reading this book outloud with my wife. I find it to be very enlightening. This should be read with Carl Medearis' book Pillars and Prophets

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Though I don't agree with everything, this is a great book for Christians to read who interact with or live among Muslims (especially Arab) people. Though I don't agree with everything, this is a great book for Christians to read who interact with or live among Muslims (especially Arab) people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rhode

    Really interesting. A terrific view from a woman's perspective. Not too much evangelism (which I tend to shy away from.) Really interesting. A terrific view from a woman's perspective. Not too much evangelism (which I tend to shy away from.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Having lived in a Muslim country, I thought I had a good handle on cultural understanding and sensitivity. However, this book made me see situations through a new (and improved) filter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    A must read if you're a western woman working with Muslims. It was informative, interesting, and funny. Kudos to the author for letting us learn from her mistakes of cultural taboos. A must read if you're a western woman working with Muslims. It was informative, interesting, and funny. Kudos to the author for letting us learn from her mistakes of cultural taboos.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lorah LS

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amber B.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kirsta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cousins

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