- Besieged by burqas: Analyzing representations of the burqa
- Award date
- 15 April 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
In this thesis, I analyze the ways in which various discourses produce knowledge about the burqa. Particularly, since the attacks on the twin towers and the London bombings, Orientalist and neo- Orientalist tropes have been revitalized and propagagated by ideologies of Islamophobia at work to radicalize Islam and Muslims. Of concern in political and policy debates as well as in media and scholarly discourses in Western societies is the framing of Muslims as potentially threatening and dangerous. In the present day, the politicization of Islam has had significant consequences ranging from the implementation of laws that restrict the presence of the burqa, as the symbol par excellence of Islamic fundamentalism in the Western imaginary, to the denial of citizenship for wearers. The burqa more than any other religious symbol has become increasingly stigmatized and criminalized, restricted in countries such as France, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. Arguably no other symbol, since France’s affaire de foulard (headscarf affair) has warranted more spirited public and political debate. Images of covered Muslim women, especially those in burqas, are framed as threats to the ideals of the secular Western nation state and as a barrier to successful immigrant integration. For these reasons, the politicized representation of burqa-clad women as potentially threatening requires a closer, deeper, and more detailed examination.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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