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Fetishized hijab and resilient Muslim women: Representations of the veil in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret and in Shelina Janmohamed’s Love in a Headscarf

Hasan, Md. Mahmudul (2014) Fetishized hijab and resilient Muslim women: Representations of the veil in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret and in Shelina Janmohamed’s Love in a Headscarf. In: Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention 2014, 9-12 January 2014, Chicago, USA. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the post-9/11 and 7/7 era of xenophobia, vulnerability and vicissitudes, the Muslim diaspora in the West is at the center of contestations about identities and racked with somewhat unacknowledged exilic anxieties. However, as they experience “double colonization” by patriarchy and imperialism in their country of origin, diasporic Muslim women suffer dual oppressions of racism/Islamophobia and sexism from within their communities in the metropolis. An added vulnerability of diasporic Muslim women is the palpable and distinguishable visibility of the hijab many of them wear and become subject to collective stigmatization. While the Muslim woman’s headscarf is an unmistakable target for attacks from right-wing forces, it also provokes unease and invites disapproval from a section of diasporic Muslims. What is more, despite the sartorial freedom to wear revealing dresses, which is largely absent in many Muslim-majority countries but which the culturally-different host country offers, many diasporic Muslim women show staunch resilience and choose to wear the hijab even though they live in a predominantly Islamophobic society. These women also use the third space of diaspora to engage confidently in the reinterpretation of the Islamic texts and thus reclaim an identity which liberates them from the culturally enacted practices of their country of origin. Based on these theoretical premises, my paper will analyze the representation of hijab and of hijab-wearing women in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret (2005) and in Shelina Janmohamed’s Love in a Headscarf (2009) and will discuss the resilience the heroines of these works show with regard to adhering to the Islamic dress code.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Full Paper)
Additional Information: 6409/34641
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aboulela; Janmohamed; veil; hijab; headscarf; Muslim women
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP174 The Practice of Islam
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP174 The Practice of Islam

B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP87 Islamic Literature. Islamic authors > BP88 Individual authors, A-Z
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes: Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of English Language & Literature
Depositing User: Dr. Md. Mahmudul Hasan
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2014 15:20
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2014 15:25
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/34641

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