the politics of the veil the public square

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The Politics Of The Veil

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 9780691147987
Genre : History
File Size : 38. 90 MB
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In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all. Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions. The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.

Sex And Secularism

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 9781400888580
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 96 MB
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How secularism has been used to justify the subordination of women Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history. With Sex and Secularism, Scott challenges one of the central claims of the “clash of civilizations” polemic—the false notion that secularism is a guarantee of gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship by second-wave feminists and historians of religion, race, and colonialism, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as a fundamental and enduring principle was not originally associated with the term “secularism” when it first entered the lexicon in the nineteenth century. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the articulation of the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity. Scott points out that Western nation-states imposed a new order of women’s subordination, assigning them to a feminized familial sphere meant to complement the rational masculine realms of politics and economics. It was not until the question of Islam arose in the late twentieth century that gender equality became a primary feature of the discourse of secularism. Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference—ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.

Book In Brief Rethinking Muslim Women The Veil

Author : Katherine Bullock
ISBN : 9781565643581
Genre : Hijab (Islamic clothing)
File Size : 56. 46 MB
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Until now the bulk of the literature about the veil has been written by outsiders who do not themselves veil. This literature often assumes a condescending tone about veiled women, assuming that they are making uninformed decisions choices about veiling makes them subservient to a patriarchal culture and religion. “Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil” offers an alternative viewpoint, based on the thoughts and experiences of Muslim women themselves. This is the first time a clear and concise book-length argument has been made for the compatibility between veiling and modernity. Katherine Bullock uncovers positive aspects of the veil that are frequently not perceived by outsiders. “Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil” looks at the colonial roots of the negative Western stereotype of the veil. It presents interviews with Muslim women to discover their thoughts and experiences with the veil in Canada. The book also offers a positive theory of veiling. The author argues that in consumer capitalist cultures, women can find wearing the veil a liberation from the stifling beauty game that promotes unsafe and unhealthy ideal body images for women. This book also includes an extensive bibliography on topics related to Muslim women and the veil.

On The Muslim Question

Author : Anne Norton
ISBN : 9780691157047
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33. 38 MB
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In the post-9/11 West, there is no shortage of strident voices telling us that Islam is a threat to the security, values, way of life, and even existence of the United States and Europe. For better or worse, "the Muslim question" has become the great question of our time. It is a question bound up with others--about freedom of speech, terror, violence, human rights, women's dress, and sexuality. Above all, it is tied to the possibility of democracy. In this fearless, original, and surprising book, Anne Norton demolishes the notion that there is a "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam. What is really in question, she argues, is the West's commitment to its own ideals: to democracy and the Enlightenment trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In the most fundamental sense, the Muslim question is about the values not of Islamic, but of Western, civilization. Moving between the United States and Europe, Norton provides a fresh perspective on iconic controversies, from the Danish cartoon of Muhammad to the murder of Theo van Gogh. She examines the arguments of a wide range of thinkers--from John Rawls to Slavoj Žižek. And she describes vivid everyday examples of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims who have accepted each other and built a common life together. Ultimately, Norton provides a new vision of a richer and more diverse democratic life in the West, one that makes room for Muslims rather than scapegoating them for the West's own anxieties.

Global Public Square

Author : Francis Sealey
ISBN : 9781847475039
Genre :
File Size : 56. 78 MB
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DescriptionThe 21st Century is one of the most turbulent and critical in our history. When the blueprints that guided us through the last two centuries have been torn up or found wanting there is a great need to recreate our future through thought discussion and action. Well-being is about being happy with ourselves and comfortable with our environment and without the public space to create that and forge new maps and purpose then we are in danger of an intellectual and emotional void. This book is about creating and expanding the public sphere or square where this can happen and where we can make connections that will make a difference. But the public square in the 21st century is both local and global and based around constantly changing networks. How we give public space to these new networks is central to the theme of this book. This book emphasises that it is these local and global networks that have the power to shape our future by bringing into focus the need to change both our environment and ourselves. It is the connections made that are the engines and energy of networks and relationships created between individual and organisations can become the effective agents of change and reinvigorate our political life. The 21st century has to be about making the connections that will simultaneously change both our environment and ourselves. It is in the global public square of the present century that we can recreate our future in a sustainable way when faced with constant diversity and change. About the AuthorFrancis Sealey was born in 1944 and was a Producer and Executive Producer for many years working for both the BBC Open University and the Community Programmes Unit. He has been active in politics and community action for most of his life, being a Parliamentary Candidate in 1974 and founder and activist in a number of social & community networks. Since 1993 he has been a freelance producer working with a number of training, public and voluntary organisations. In 2007 he founded 21st Century Network to help recreate public space and bring genuine debate back to public life.

Do Muslim Women Need Saving

Author : Lila Abu-Lughod
ISBN : 9780674727502
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 68. 52 MB
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Do Muslim Women Need Saving? is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam. It offers a detailed, moving portrait of the actual experiences of ordinary Muslim women, and of the contingencies with which they live.

The Fantasy Of Feminist History

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 0822351250
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56. 68 MB
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In The Fantasy of Feminist History, Joan Wallach Scott argues that feminist perspectives on history are enriched by psychoanalytic concepts, particularly fantasy. Tracing the evolution of her thinking about gender over the course of her career, the pioneering historian explains how her search for ways to more forcefully insist on gender as mutable rather than fixed or stable led her to psychoanalytic theory, which posits sexual difference as an insoluble dilemma. Scott suggests that it is the futile struggle to hold meaning in place that makes gender such an interesting historical object, an object that includes not only regimes of truth about sex and sexuality but also fantasies and transgressions that refuse to be regulated or categorized. Fantasy undermines any notion of psychic immutability or fixed identity, infuses rational motives with desire, and contributes to the actions and events that come to be narrated as history. Questioning the standard parameters of historiography and feminist politics, Scott advocates fantasy as a useful, even necessary, concept for feminist historical analysis.

Why I Am Not A Secularist

Author : William E. Connolly
ISBN : 0816633320
Genre : Religion
File Size : 58. 30 MB
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Religion's influence in American politics is obvious in recent debates about school prayer, abortion, and homosexuality, as well as in the success of grassroots religious organizations in mobilizing voters. Many liberal secularists decry this trend, rejecting any interaction between politics and religion. But in Why I Am Not a Secularist, distinguished political theorist William E. Connolly argues that secularism, although admirable in its pursuit of freedom and diversity, too often undercuts these goals through its narrow and intolerant understandings of public reason. In response, he crafts a new model of public life that more accurately reflects the needs of contemporary politics.

Only Paradoxes To Offer

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 9780674043381
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 86 MB
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Only Muslim

Author : Naomi Davidson
ISBN : 9780801465253
Genre : History
File Size : 29. 41 MB
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The French state has long had a troubled relationship with its diverse Muslim populations. In Only Muslim, Naomi Davidson traces this turbulence to the 1920s and 1930s, when North Africans first immigrated to French cities in significant numbers. Drawing on police reports, architectural blueprints, posters, propaganda films, and documentation from metropolitan and colonial officials as well as anticolonial nationalists, she reveals the ways in which French politicians and social scientists created a distinctly French vision of Islam that would inform public policy and political attitudes toward Muslims for the rest of the century-Islam français. French Muslims were cast into a permanent "otherness" that functioned in the same way as racial difference. This notion that one was only and forever Muslim was attributed to all immigrants from North Africa, though in time "Muslim" came to function as a synonym for Algerian, despite the diversity of the North and West African population. Davidson grounds her narrative in the history of the Mosquée de Paris, which was inaugurated in 1926 and epitomized the concept of Islam français. Built in official gratitude to the tens of thousands of Muslim subjects of France who fought and were killed in World War I, the site also provided the state with a means to regulate Muslim life throughout the metropole beginning during the interwar period. Later chapters turn to the consequences of the state's essentialized view of Muslims in the Vichy years and during the Algerian War. Davidson concludes with current debates over plans to build a Muslim cultural institute in the middle of a Parisian immigrant neighborhood, showing how Islam remains today a marker of an unassimilable difference.

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