Perhaps I am not up on Muslim writers and thinkers, but thanks to reading a discussion on Muslim Wakeup, I was informed of Asma Barlas, Professor, Politics Department, Ithaca College. Her website contains many articles which are thought provoking and worth a read. The nice thing is that many of her essays are published in The Daily Times, Pakistan, and not in academic journals. Thus making them available to a larger audience.
The following was taken directly from Professor Barlas’s website:
“My most recent research interests have been in the area of scriptural hermeneutics and the politics of reading/meaning-creation. To be precise, I am interested in how Muslims read and interpret their scripture, the Quran, because they frequently use patriarchal readings of it to justify sexual inequality and oppression [Believing Women? in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Quran, University of Texas Press, 2001].
This interest emerged gradually, from a general preoccupation with trying to understand different modes of oppression. My earlier work focused on the legacies of colonial rule as one way to understand contemporary South Asian politics [Democracy, Nationalism, and Communalism: The Colonial Legacy in South Asia, Westview Press, 1995].
At present, I am studying the so-called ‘civilizational clash’ between Muslims and Europeans that began in the seventh century. I am specially interested in finding out how Muslims encountered the West, why this encounter was/is represented by Europeans as a ‘clash’, and as a discourse of ‘Otherness’, and the ways in which this discourse plays itself out today in Western representations of Muslim holy war [jihad] and their treatment of women.
I am also working on developing new courses in the areas of human rights and colonialism/postcolonialism.” [From http://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/abarlas/index.htm]