Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Political TheologiesPublic Religions in a Post-Secular World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226443

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226443.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

How to Recognize a Muslim When You See One: Western Secularism and the Politics of Conversion

How to Recognize a Muslim When You See One: Western Secularism and the Politics of Conversion

Chapter:
(p.444) How to Recognize a Muslim When You See One: Western Secularism and the Politics of Conversion
Source:
Political Theologies
Author(s):

Markha G. Valenta

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0024

This chapter looks at Europe's responses to the veil or headscarf and the politics of gender to clarify how the confrontation between ideologies of secularism and the multifarious strategies of conversion fails to register what should have been clear all along: namely, that anxious contemporary Western responses to Islam exemplify a collective amnesia concerning a long history of mutual imbrication and interaction, obfuscated by colonialism and orientalism alike. Drawing on the pioneering work of Edward Said, Leila Ahmed, Lila Abu-Lughod, and others, this chapter suggests that only with the arrival of the northern Mediterranean powers—the Greek conquest of 333 BC (by soldiers bearing under their arms learned Aristotle's treatise on women's natural inferiority to men), followed by the Romans and the spread of Christianity—did the practice of veiling and, more broadly, of women's enclosure, devaluation, and repression spread. In this sense, veiling was the material measure of ancient Egypt's Hellenization and Romanization, its “Europeanization”.

Keywords:   Europe, veil, politics of gender, secularism, conversion, Islam, colonialism, orientalism, women, Europeanization

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .