Why the French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and by John R. Bowen

By John R. Bowen

The French government's 2004 determination to prohibit Islamic headscarves and different non secular symptoms from public faculties wondered many observers, either since it looked as if it would infringe needlessly on non secular freedom, and since it was once hailed by way of many in France as a solution to a shockingly wide selection of social ills, from violence opposed to ladies in bad suburbs to anti-Semitism. Why the French do not like Headscarves explains why headscarves on schoolgirls brought on this kind of furor, and why the furor yielded this legislations. Making experience of the dramatic debate from his viewpoint as an American anthropologist in France on the time, John Bowen writes approximately daily life and public occasions whereas additionally featuring interviews with officers and intellectuals, and studying French tv courses and different media.

Bowen argues that the point of interest on headscarves got here from a century-old sensitivity to the general public presence of faith in colleges, feared hyperlinks among public expressions of Islamic id and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that outfitted help for a headband ban in the course of 2003-2004. even supposing the safeguard of laïcité (secularity) was once stated because the law's significant justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media associated the scarves to extra concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence towards women.

Written in enticing, jargon-free prose, Why the French don't love Headscarves is the 1st complete and goal research of this topic, in any language, and it speaks to tensions among assimilation and variety that stretch well past France's borders.

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