Next month, Visiting Professor of Law Madhavi Sunder and Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics Martha Nussbaum are organizing a conference on "Democracy and Gender Equality in the Muslim World." The International Affairs Forum just posted an interview with Professor Sunder in which she discusses this very topic. Among other points, she says:
The values of freedom, equality, and human rights are not just Western feminist values but are also enshrined both within Islam, and within the local cultures, histories, and constitutional laws of many Muslim counties and communities. So a key strategy for women seeking religious meaning and community, and freedom and equality, will be to contest the false depiction of a monolithic Islam that mandates the oppression of women. In fact the history of Islam is much more heterogeneous, contested, and pro-woman and equality than this common vision suggests. Just highlighting this plurality of options, including pro-equality options, within Islam challenges the powerful claims of religious and political leaders that there is just one way to be Muslim.
You can read the entire interview here.