Devotion and Defiance: My Journey in Love, Faith and Politics

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In the fall of 2001, a newlywed English professor took on a job editing the women's section of one of Pakistan's leading Urdu newspapers. She soon transformed pages of celebrity gossip and fashion advice into a vehicle for the investigation of the true lives of Pakistani women. News of acid attacks on hapless women, the trading of girls as currency in tribal disputes, and other abuses transformed this young mother into a fiery advocate for women's rights-one guided by Islamic ethics and ideals of social justice as she taught rural leaders to distinguish between religion and tribal custom. Her commitment to her countrywomen led her to a seat in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, where she fought to protect women, girls, and the poor. Humaira Awais Shahid's extraordinarily warm and passionate voice provides remarkable insight into how Islamic values and ethics might yet be a vehicle for progressive change in the developing world.