2015 Press Releases

UCC Islam specialist to launch book in Scotland

21 Oct 2015
Pictured: Dr Amanullah De Sondy

Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at UCC is to launch his acclaimed book, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities, at a special launch in Scotland hosted by Edinburgh University on 03 November.

The book has received international recognition as the first specialised study on the subject and was reviewed by The Times Higher Education.

Dr De Sondy, who was born and raised in Glasgow to Pakistani parents, taught Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he earned his PhD; the University of Strathclyde; and the University of Stirling. After completing his PhD in 2009, he moved from his beloved Scotland to the USA, where he taught Islam at Ithaca College and the University of Miami in 2010.

He has studied Arabic and Islam in France, Jordan, and Syria and has particular a interest in Urdu and Punjabi poetry. Amanullah is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Thought for the Day’.

About The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities (Book summary taken directly from publisher Bloomsbury):

“Rigid notions of masculinity are causing crisis in the global Islamic community. These are articulated from the Qur'an, its commentary, historical precedents and societal, religious and familial obligations. Some Muslims who don't agree with narrow constructs of manliness feel forced to consider themselves secular and therefore outside the religious community.

In order to evaluate whether there really is only one valid, ideal Islamic masculinity, The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities explores key figures of the Qur'an and Indian-Pakistani Islamic history, and exposes the precariousness of tight constraints on Islamic manhood. By examining Qur'anic arguments and the strict social responsibilities advocated along with narrow Islamic masculinities, Amanullah De Sondy shows that God and women (to whom Muslim men relate but are different from) often act as foils for the construction of masculinity. He argues the constrainers of masculinity have used God and women to think with and to dominate through and that rigid gender roles are the product of a misguided enterprise: the highly personal relationship between humans and God does not lend itself to the organization of society, because that relationship cannot be typified and replicated. 

Discussions and debates surrounding Islamic masculinities are quickly finding their place in the study of Islam and Muslims, and The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities makes a vital contribution to this emerging field.”

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