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A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence, from the Middle East to America

A QUIET REVOLUTION: THE VEIL'S RESURGENCE, FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO AMERICA

by: Leila Ahmed
Format: Paperback

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Product Description A probing study of the veil's recent return—from one of the world's foremost authorities on Muslim women—that reaches surprising conclusions about contemporary Islam's place in the West today In Cairo in the 1940s, Leila Ahmed was raised by a generation of women who never dressed in the veils and headscarves their mothers and grandmothers had worn. To them, these coverings seemed irrelevant to both modern life and Islamic piety. Today, however, the majority of Muslim women throughout the Islamic world again wear the veil. Why, Ahmed asks, did this change take root so swiftly, and what does this shift mean for women, Islam, and the West? When she began her study, Ahmed assumed that the veil's return indicated a backward step for Muslim women worldwide. What she discovered, however, in the stories of British colonial officials, young Muslim feminists, Arab nationalists, pious Islamic daughters, American Muslim immigrants, violent jihadists, and peaceful Islamic activists, confounded her expectations. Ahmed observed that Islamism, with its commitments to activism in the service of the poor and in pursuit of social justice, is the strain of Islam most easily and naturally merging with western democracies' own tradition of activism in the cause of justice and social change. It is often Islamists, even more than secular Muslims, who are at the forefront of such contemporary activist struggles as civil rights and women's rights. Ahmed's surprising conclusions represent a near reversal of her thinking on this topic. Richly insightful, intricately drawn, and passionately argued, this absorbing story of the veil's resurgence, from Egypt through Saudi Arabia and into the West, suggests a dramatically new portrait of contemporary Islam. Review "Ms. Ahmed gives us a fascinating portrait of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially of its 'unsung mother,' Zainab al-Ghazali."—Mira Sethi, Wall Street Journal "Ms. Ahmed's narrative deftly captures the mood of the [colonial] era, registering the range of ironies surrounding the status of the veil."—Mira Sethi, Wall Street Journal ". . . an acute study of how issues of political power and empire interact with women’s own claims to autonomy within families and communities. Ahmed beds her analysis into the wider political currents of Egypt without ever losing sight of women’s own interpretations of what they were doing and why."—Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian "The portrait of post 9/11 Muslim America that Ahmed offers up in her book is strikingly hopeful, full of individuals, trends, and stories that make her case for this new era's promise."—Time Magazine "The veil may be the most evocative symbol of Islam for many non-Muslim readers, and Ahmed’s treatment of the subject is wide-ranging, discursive, and utterly fascinating."— Library Journal, starred review "A discerning account of feminists, veiled and unveiled, and their creation of what [Ahmed] sees as a new space within American Islam."—Christine Stansell, New Republic "A discerning account of feminists, veiled and unveiled, and their creation of what [Ahmed] sees as a new space within American Islam...In delicate passages, Ahmed ventures her own longings for a larger space for women within the faith—for free-spirited inquiry and discussion and a return to the rational interpretation and scrutiny of holy texts. Ahmed finds a distinctly American Islam where women are playing an unprecedented role and gender inequality is often discussed."—Christine Stansell, New Republic "A Quiet Revolution is an important book.It provides a thorough history of the resurgence of the veil both in the Muslim world and in the U.S. and adds significant nuance to the complex issues that surround the veil. Ahmed's work will no doubt continue to inspire a new generation of Muslim feminists."—Los Angeles Times "The book's critical and self-consciously feminist perspective makes a valuable contribution to the existing liter

Details

Product Code: 9780300181432
ISBN: 0300181434
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2012-06-05
Number of Pages: 360 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 5.6.2012
Dimension: 6.06 x 1.1 x 9.06 inches
Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds