Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Global Studies


Chrystie Swiney

Committee Members

Debra Shushan

Lawrence Wilkerson


Often justified in the name of religion, Islamist violence against women in Iraq is a prevalent and omnipresent concern. This thesis explores the escalating issues with regard to both physical and psychological or legally-sanctioned violence against women in Iraq, exploring the reasons for its occurrence and working to deconstruct its religious rationalizations. The thesis also offers an analysis of the Islamic sources -- the Qur'an, Sunna, and hadith -- that relies on strategies such as linguistic and historical contextualization to demonstrate that Islam's intended view of women was actually quite progressive. Many more conservative Islamic interpretations or arguments in favor of female subservience are reliant on carefully chosen Qur'anic verses for legitimacy. Devoid of context and a thorough explanation of each Arabic term's array of potential meanings, these arguments fail to adequately portray Islam's progressive potential with regard to gender relations. Ultimately, the ensuing work seeks to make the policy recommendation that, at least with respect to Iraqi women, the key to liberation in the post-Saddam era is not through secular strategies or solutions, but instead, through non-secular arguments and interpretations, indeed through Islam itself.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only