The hijab is arguably the most discussed and controversial item of women's clothing today. It has become the primary global symbol of female Muslim identity for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and is the focus of much debate in the confrontation between Islam and the West. Nowhere has this debate been more acute or complex than in France.

In Hijab and the Republic, Bronwyn Winter provides a riveting account of the controversial 2004 French law to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious signs from public schools. While much has been written on the subject, Winter offers a unique feminist perspective, carefully delineating its political and cultural aspects.

 
 

10 Comments

  1. Non_Secular_Bob says:

    I respect the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab. However, in the interest of security I accept the French law as a necessary step towards national security. We all must make sacrifices in today's world to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. Muslims are not the only ones who must give. What we all lose in terms of rights, we gain in the piece of mind that comes from greater security.

  2. Non_Secular_Bob says:

    I respect the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab. However, in the interest of security I accept the French law as a necessary step towards national security. We all must make sacrifices in today's world to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. Muslims are not the only ones who must give. What we all lose in terms of rights, we gain in the piece of mind that comes from greater security.

  3. Benji says:

    I wonder if the scarf is at all a security threat, but simply an overhyped concept to suppress muslims in general. I do not think it is a genuine security threat at all. Any item of clothing for that matter can be a security threat – and anyone can wear a real mask!

  4. Benji says:

    I wonder if the scarf is at all a security threat, but simply an overhyped concept to suppress muslims in general. I do not think it is a genuine security threat at all. Any item of clothing for that matter can be a security threat – and anyone can wear a real mask!

  5. Em says:

    I don't quite understand where the threat lies in a headscarf, there is no interest in security, this appears to be plainly prejudice. To ban them from schools is an abuse of power on the part of the government. The only thing you can gather from a woman wearing a Hijab is that she has a particular religious view. Why not ban the wearing of crosses or yamakas? It is disrespectful and archaic to call that a security threat. It seems as if the intent behind the ban is to make culturally ignorant people who feel threatened by Islamic Cluture feel comfortable. As an American christian I would be outraged if this happened locally.

  6. Em says:

    I don't quite understand where the threat lies in a headscarf, there is no interest in security, this appears to be plainly prejudice. To ban them from schools is an abuse of power on the part of the government. The only thing you can gather from a woman wearing a Hijab is that she has a particular religious view. Why not ban the wearing of crosses or yamakas? It is disrespectful and archaic to call that a security threat. It seems as if the intent behind the ban is to make culturally ignorant people who feel threatened by Islamic Cluture feel comfortable. As an American christian I would be outraged if this happened locally.

  7. Mike says:

    Headscarf doesn't represent security threat since one could still see women's faces. Moreover, if you allow governments to tell cetizens what they can and can't wear they will not stop until everyone wears a uniform.

  8. Mike says:

    Headscarf doesn't represent security threat since one could still see women's faces. Moreover, if you allow governments to tell cetizens what they can and can't wear they will not stop until everyone wears a uniform.

  9. Daniel Rodela says:

    Muslims are guaranteed the same constitutional rights that christians claim. Its time to move from the politics of fear and remember that if it wasn't for the contribution of the muslims papal tyrrany would have suffocated the Reformation which sought religious liberty. Asalamalakim.

  10. Daniel Rodela says:

    Muslims are guaranteed the same constitutional rights that christians claim. Its time to move from the politics of fear and remember that if it wasn't for the contribution of the muslims papal tyrrany would have suffocated the Reformation which sought religious liberty. Asalamalakim.

 
 
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