By Stephanie Cronin
In contemporary years sour controversies have erupted throughout Europe and the center East approximately women’s veiling, and particularly their donning of the face-veil or niqab. but the deeper matters contained inside of those controversies – secularism as opposed to spiritual trust, person freedom as opposed to social or family members coercion, identification as opposed to integration – will not be new yet are strikingly prefigured through prior conflicts. This ebook examines the state-sponsored anti-veiling campaigns which swept throughout large swathes of the Muslim global within the interwar interval, specifically in Turkey and the Balkans, Iran, Afghanistan and the Soviet republics of the Caucasus and valuable Asia. It indicates how veiling used to be formally discouraged and ridiculed as backward and, even though it was once hardly ever banned, veiling used to be politicized and became a rallying-point for a much broader competition. Asking a few questions on this past anti-veiling discourse and the guidelines flowing from it, and the reactions which it provoked, the booklet illuminates and contextualizes modern debates approximately gender, Islam and modernism.
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Extra info for Anti-Veiling Campaigns in the Muslim World: Gender, Modernism and the Politics of Dress
She is the author of two books, The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria (Cornell University Press, 2004) and Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria 1856–1989 (Cornell University Press, 2012). She is co-editor, with Paulina Bren, of Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2013). Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at California State University, Fullerton.
It was in fact a way of demonstrating that a family possessed enough wealth to keep its female members secluded and economically inactive and therefore entitled to claim a superior social status. 5 The full face-veil was rarely found among peasants or nomads, by far the numerically largest element of the population, except perhaps in a modified form on the occasion of their rare visits to towns. On the other hand, some form of hair covering was universal, and rural women or working women in towns might adopt the habit of pulling their scarves across part of their faces on the appearance of strangers.
Once again, voices may be heard defining veiling as a symbol of the backwardness of the non-European ‘Other’ and counterposing Islam to the very essence of European identity. Yet neither the French campaign against the niqab nor the Turkish secular elite’s horror at the spread of hijab is new, but are strikingly prefigured by earlier conflicts. Across the Muslim world by the late nineteenth century the question of female dress in general, and the face-veil in particular, had come to occupy an important place in a developing indigenous critique of existing gender relations.
Anti-Veiling Campaigns in the Muslim World: Gender, Modernism and the Politics of Dress by Stephanie Cronin