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Rethinking Muslim women and the veil: challenging historical and modern stereotypes

Rethinking Muslim women and the veil: challenging historical and modern stereotypes

Issue 65 February 2010

By Katherine Bullock


Reviewed by Rahima B Miah
The veil is a contentious issue that has been much debated and protested against particularly in the West and parts of the East. Feminists criticise it arguing that the veil reinforces women’s subordination to men.
Depicting European colonisation of the Middle East as the instigator of this movement and modern political discourse as the pursuer in particular with the recent ban of headscarves in French state schools; Bullock has shown that the lack of paradigm shift has resulted in current theories and perception of Muslim women being intrinsically flawed.
Her book serves many purposes the first being to break down barriers of misconception by aiming to ‘break the equation: modernity equals unveil’. The veil for women Bullock notes symbolises liberation in terms of having a form of control over their bodies and freedom from conforming to images of perfection.
Katherine Bullock’s rather unique attempt at disclaiming the ‘veil is oppressive’ debate has shown that we cannot regurgitate what has been written, but must seek to understand.




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