SOC885: The Vstl in their Mind and our Heads
January 31 , 2014
Western Feminist’s Perspective Toward Hijab
- The work is based on author’s own experience and historical sources which challenges
the western hegemony over representation of hijab
- Concept of labeling/judging other, based on one’s privilege (place of bitch, nationality,
dressing etc) what is good for western women is good for all other women in a racist
- Pain for muslim women with hijab who are rejected in western society (concept of
normalization, inclusion, etc.)
Some main issues of the article:
- Hijab is static and unchanging/dynamic and powerful.
- Complexity concept of hijab, how it is shaped? And why?
- The concept of patriarchy, andocentric, sexism, racism, secularism, nation-satate
relationship, Islamic feminism.
Social-economic changes and its impact on Middle Eastern Women
- End of 18, and starting in the 19 century, west challenges veil in muslim cultures.
- The concept of modernity, nation-state, colonialism can be challenged.
- The story of one of thousands and one nights, in the west is challenging oriental women,
their clothing, domination by men.
- The role of western feminism in perpetuating negative image of muslim women.
- In the 20 century informal social institutions, class alliances, and kin networks gradually
broke down and women’s movement in the middle east started to grow.
- The tendency of western scholarly work and the colonial power to present a uni-
dimensional islam and a sameness society of muslims for ignoring their diversification of
- Assimilation: deny your own culture and values.
- Integration: trying to make a connection between what you believe and others believe.
Original History of Hijab
- It is rooted in pre Islamic and originates in non-arab middle east and Mediterranean
- The first reference to veiling is in an Assyrian legal text in 13 century BC.
- Quran refers to prophet’s women and other believing women.
- Veiling in Iran times of safavids, and in Egypt started in ottoman empire and expanded in
middle east and north Africa. - Surat el nour refers to this more.
- Translation of ayah #20: “Tell the believing men to reduce some of their vision and guard
their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, allah is acquainted with what they do.”
- Translation of ayah: “and tell the believing women to reduce some of their cieion and
guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except