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The Politics Of The Veil

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 9780691147987
Genre : History
File Size : 89.70 MB
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In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all. Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions. The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.
Category: History

Sex And Secularism

Author : Joan Wallach Scott
ISBN : 9781400888580
Genre : History
File Size : 83.37 MB
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How secularism has been used to justify the subordination of women Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history. With Sex and Secularism, Scott challenges one of the central claims of the “clash of civilizations” polemic—the false notion that secularism is a guarantee of gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship by second-wave feminists and historians of religion, race, and colonialism, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as a fundamental and enduring principle was not originally associated with the term “secularism” when it first entered the lexicon in the nineteenth century. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the articulation of the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity. Scott points out that Western nation-states imposed a new order of women’s subordination, assigning them to a feminized familial sphere meant to complement the rational masculine realms of politics and economics. It was not until the question of Islam arose in the late twentieth century that gender equality became a primary feature of the discourse of secularism. Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference—ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.
Category: History

On The Muslim Question

Author : Anne Norton
ISBN : 9780691157047
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 90.46 MB
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In the post-9/11 West, there is no shortage of strident voices telling us that Islam is a threat to the security, values, way of life, and even existence of the United States and Europe. For better or worse, "the Muslim question" has become the great question of our time. It is a question bound up with others--about freedom of speech, terror, violence, human rights, women's dress, and sexuality. Above all, it is tied to the possibility of democracy. In this fearless, original, and surprising book, Anne Norton demolishes the notion that there is a "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam. What is really in question, she argues, is the West's commitment to its own ideals: to democracy and the Enlightenment trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In the most fundamental sense, the Muslim question is about the values not of Islamic, but of Western, civilization. Moving between the United States and Europe, Norton provides a fresh perspective on iconic controversies, from the Danish cartoon of Muhammad to the murder of Theo van Gogh. She examines the arguments of a wide range of thinkers--from John Rawls to Slavoj Žižek. And she describes vivid everyday examples of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims who have accepted each other and built a common life together. Ultimately, Norton provides a new vision of a richer and more diverse democratic life in the West, one that makes room for Muslims rather than scapegoating them for the West's own anxieties.
Category: Political Science

Global Public Square

Author : Francis Sealey
ISBN : 9781847475039
Genre :
File Size : 47.84 MB
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DescriptionThe 21st Century is one of the most turbulent and critical in our history. When the blueprints that guided us through the last two centuries have been torn up or found wanting there is a great need to recreate our future through thought discussion and action. Well-being is about being happy with ourselves and comfortable with our environment and without the public space to create that and forge new maps and purpose then we are in danger of an intellectual and emotional void. This book is about creating and expanding the public sphere or square where this can happen and where we can make connections that will make a difference. But the public square in the 21st century is both local and global and based around constantly changing networks. How we give public space to these new networks is central to the theme of this book. This book emphasises that it is these local and global networks that have the power to shape our future by bringing into focus the need to change both our environment and ourselves. It is the connections made that are the engines and energy of networks and relationships created between individual and organisations can become the effective agents of change and reinvigorate our political life. The 21st century has to be about making the connections that will simultaneously change both our environment and ourselves. It is in the global public square of the present century that we can recreate our future in a sustainable way when faced with constant diversity and change. About the AuthorFrancis Sealey was born in 1944 and was a Producer and Executive Producer for many years working for both the BBC Open University and the Community Programmes Unit. He has been active in politics and community action for most of his life, being a Parliamentary Candidate in 1974 and founder and activist in a number of social & community networks. Since 1993 he has been a freelance producer working with a number of training, public and voluntary organisations. In 2007 he founded 21st Century Network to help recreate public space and bring genuine debate back to public life.

Why I Am Not A Secularist

Author : William E. Connolly
ISBN : 0816633320
Genre : Religion
File Size : 87.68 MB
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Religion's influence in American politics is obvious in recent debates about school prayer, abortion, and homosexuality, as well as in the success of grassroots religious organizations in mobilizing voters. Many liberal secularists decry this trend, rejecting any interaction between politics and religion. But in Why I Am Not a Secularist, distinguished political theorist William E. Connolly argues that secularism, although admirable in its pursuit of freedom and diversity, too often undercuts these goals through its narrow and intolerant understandings of public reason. In response, he crafts a new model of public life that more accurately reflects the needs of contemporary politics.
Category: Religion

Prisoner Of Love

Author : Jean Genet
ISBN : 1590170288
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 22.8 MB
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Follows the late author's experiences and observations as a visitor to an early 1970s Palestinian refugee camp, in a lyrical and philosophical account that offers insight into the Palestinian cause and the Middle Eastern conflict. Original.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Questioning The Veil

Author : Marnia Lazreg
ISBN : 9781400830923
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 27.96 MB
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Across much of the world today, Muslim women of all ages are increasingly choosing to wear the veil. Is this trend a sign of rising piety or a way of asserting Muslim pride? And does the veil really provide women freedom from sexual harassment? Written in the form of letters addressing all those interested in this issue, Questioning the Veil examines the inconsistent and inadequate reasons given for the veil, and points to the dangers and limitations of this highly questionable cultural practice. Marnia Lazreg, a preeminent authority in Middle East women's studies, combines her own experiences growing up in a Muslim family in Algeria with interviews and the real-life stories of other Muslim women to produce this nuanced argument for doing away with the veil. An incisive mix of the personal and political, supported by meticulous research, Questioning the Veil will compel all readers to reconsider their views of this controversial and sensitive topic. Lazreg stresses that the veil is not included in the five pillars of Islam, asks whether piety sufficiently justifies veiling, explores the adverse psychological effects of the practice on the wearer and those around her, and pays special attention to the negative impact of veiling for young girls. Lazreg's provocative findings indicate that far from being spontaneous, the trend toward wearing the veil has been driven by an organized and growing campaign that includes literature, DVDs, YouTube videos, and courses designed by some Muslim men to teach women about their presumed rights under the veil. An incisive mix of the personal and political, supported by meticulous research, Questioning the Veil will compel all readers to reconsider their views of this controversial and sensitive topic.
Category: Social Science

The Structural Transformation Of The Public Sphere

Author : J?rgen Habermas
ISBN : 9780745692333
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 41.4 MB
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This major work retraces the emergence and development of the Bourgeois public sphere - that is, a sphere which was distinct from the state and in which citizens could discuss issues of general interest. In analysing the historical transformations of this sphere, Habermas recovers a concept which is of crucial significance for current debates in social and political theory. Habermas focuses on the liberal notion of the bourgeois public sphere as it emerged in Europe in the early modern period. He examines both the writings of political theorists, including Marx, Mill and de Tocqueville, and the specific institutions and social forms in which the public sphere was realized. This brilliant and influential work has been widely recognized for many years as a classic of contemporary social and political thought, of interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities.
Category: Philosophy

Islam In Europe

Author : Jack Goody
ISBN : 9780745657554
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42.15 MB
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This vigorously argued book reveals the central role that Islam has played in European history. Following the movement of people, culture and religion from East to West, Goody breaks down the perceived opposition between Islam and Europe, showing Islam to be a part of Europe's past and present. In an historical analysis of religious warfare and forced migration, Goody examines our understanding of legitimate violence, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. His comparative perspective offers important and illuminating insights into current political problems and conflicts. Goody traces three routes of Islam into Europe, following the Arab through North Africa, Spain and Mediterranean Europe; the Turk through Greece and the Balkans; and the Mongol through Southern Russia to Poland and Lithuania. Each thrust made its mark on Europe in terms of population and culture. Yet this was not merely a military impact: especially in Spain, but elsewhere too, Europe was substantially modified by this contact. Today it takes the form of some eleven million immigrants, not to speak of the possible incorporation of further millions through Bosnia, Albania and Turkey.
Category: Religion

Reign Of Appearances

Author : Ari Adut
ISBN : 9781107180932
Genre : History
File Size : 51.41 MB
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The public sphere can undermine liberal democracy, law, and morality. But it also liberates us from the bondages of private life and fosters a vital aesthetic experience.
Category: History