Rethinking Muslim Women & the Veil :
Challenging Historical & Modern Stereotypes, [Abridged Version],
[A5] Paperback Booklet - 34 pages,
by Dr. Katherine Bullock,
IIIT 'Books in Brief' Series.
This book offers a powerful critique of the Western notion that the hijab, the veil, is a symbol of Muslim women's oppression. The author examines the views of feminist scholars who offer a variety of interpretations of the Islamic guidelines regarding hijab and discusses the view that women only wear hijab.
Dr. Bullock analyses 19th and early 20th century Western images of Muslim women (in paintings, drawings, postcards, and words), interviews Muslim women in present-day Toronto on the practice of veiling, explores the reasons that Muslim women veil, as recorded in the work of contemporary academics, anthropologists, feminists, and mass-market journalists, and analyzes and refutes Fatima Mernissi’s claims vis-a-vis the veil (finally!). Her work in this last area is valuable not just for being a refutation of Mernissi’s claims against the veil, but as an expose of Mernissi’s faulty methodology, lapses in logic, and her agenda against Abu Hurayrah, Sayiduna Umar, and Imam al Ghazali, may Allah be pleased with them all. Bullock also explores the troubling issue of Muslims (and others) resorting to Orientalist authored texts (whether historical or present-day) in order to “grasp” issues surrounding Muslim women, Islam, state, and law.
In the final section, An Alternative Theory of the Veil, Bullock explores and refutes stereotypes of Muslim men and women that are held and promoted by both Orientalists and feminists (for example, that the veil means men do not have to take responsibility for their sexuality, but that women shoulder the burden for both). She also addresses, several times in the book, the apparently revolutionary idea that Muslim women who veil do so out of love for their Creator, and a desires to obey His Word (e.g. the Qur’an).
Dr. Katherine Bullock is an alumna of the University of Toronto, where she earned her doctorate in Political Science in 1999. It was during this period that she embraced Islam. Her Ph D. dissertation was on 'Politics of the Veil'. Dr Bullock Originally from Australia now lives in California.
Table of Contents :
---Chapter . Hijab in the Colonial Era,
------Metaphsics of Modernity,
------The Gaze and the Veil,
---Chapter . Perceptions and Experiences of Wearing the Hijab,
------Perceptions of Hijab,
--------1. Why Hijab?
--------2. Traditional (i.e. Male-Biased) Interpretation?
---Chapter . Multiple Meanings of Hijab,
------Reasons for Covering,
------The Meaning of Hijab : Western Media Viewpoint.
---Chapter . Fatima Mernissi and the Discourse on the Veil,
------Mernissi and Methodology,
------Women and Sexuality in the Qur'an and Sunnah,
---Chapter . An Alternative Theory of the Veil,
------A. Hijab and Liberation,
------B. Hijab and the Male Gaze,
------C. Hijab and Feminity,
------D. Hijab, Sexuality and Essentialism,
------E. Hijab and Choice,
------F. Hijab and Religiosity,
---Chapter . Conclusion.
---About the Author,