Islam presents a particular challenge for Women’s and Gender Studies.  A submissive, veiled woman is often the first image that comes to mind when Westerners think of Islam.  Paradoxically, the oppressed Muslim women has become for non-Muslims a primary symbol of the perceived dangers of Islam, even as that image is used to represent disempowerment. Yet Islam is a major world religion with over 1.6 billion adherents, approximately half of whom are women, and all of whom are sexual beings whose religious positioning intersects with their gender and sexuality in myriad ways. So what do Muslims really believe about gender and sexuality? And what do they do? In this course, we will examine constructions of gender and sexuality in Islam by investigating both traditional sources such as the Qur’an, Hadith, and Islamic Law; and also by considering how Muslim women today are challenging the patriarchal structures of authority, while at the same time critiquing Western feminism.