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 : 27. 8 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 : 23. 59 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 : 76. 98 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 : 76. 97 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.

Do Muslim Women Need Saving

Author : Lila Abu-Lughod
ISBN : 9780674727502
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21. 87 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.

Why The French Don T Like Headscarves

Author : John R. Bowen
ISBN : 9781400837564
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 63 MB
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The French government's 2004 decision to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious signs from public schools puzzled many observers, both because it seemed to infringe needlessly on religious freedom, and because it was hailed by many in France as an answer to a surprisingly wide range of social ills, from violence against females in poor suburbs to anti-Semitism. Why the French Don't Like Headscarves explains why headscarves on schoolgirls caused such a furor, and why the furor yielded this law. Making sense of the dramatic debate from his perspective as an American anthropologist in France at the time, John Bowen writes about everyday life and public events while also presenting interviews with officials and intellectuals, and analyzing French television programs and other media. Bowen argues that the focus on headscarves came from a century-old sensitivity to the public presence of religion in schools, feared links between public expressions of Islamic identity and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that built support for a headscarf ban during 2003-2004. Although the defense of laïcité (secularity) was cited as the law's major justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media linked the scarves to more concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence toward women. Written in engaging, jargon-free prose, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves is the first comprehensive and objective analysis of this subject, in any language, and it speaks to tensions between assimilation and diversity that extend well beyond France's borders.

Why I Am Not A Secularist

Author : William E. Connolly
ISBN : 0816633320
Genre : Religion
File Size : 80. 52 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.

Black France

Author : Dominic Richard David Thomas
ISBN : 9780253218810
Genre : History
File Size : 75. 43 MB
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A dynamic view of the politics of cultural exchange between Africa and France

Only Muslim

Author : Naomi Davidson
ISBN : 9780801465253
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 95 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.

Islam In Europe

Author : Jack Goody
ISBN : 9780745657554
Genre : Religion
File Size : 75. 48 MB
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This vigorously argued book reveals the central role that Islam has played in European history. Following the movement of people, culture and religion from East to West, Goody breaks down the perceived opposition between Islam and Europe, showing Islam to be a part of Europe's past and present. In an historical analysis of religious warfare and forced migration, Goody examines our understanding of legitimate violence, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. His comparative perspective offers important and illuminating insights into current political problems and conflicts. Goody traces three routes of Islam into Europe, following the Arab through North Africa, Spain and Mediterranean Europe; the Turk through Greece and the Balkans; and the Mongol through Southern Russia to Poland and Lithuania. Each thrust made its mark on Europe in terms of population and culture. Yet this was not merely a military impact: especially in Spain, but elsewhere too, Europe was substantially modified by this contact. Today it takes the form of some eleven million immigrants, not to speak of the possible incorporation of further millions through Bosnia, Albania and Turkey.

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