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Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women Hardcover – August 16, 2009
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"Long or short, sternly pinned or silkily draped, the Islamic veil is the most contentious religious symbol today, in the West as much as in the Muslim world. . . . [Lazreg] feels passionately that Muslim women should not wear the veil, as both her mother and grandmother obediently did. . . . [A] useful and timely counterpoint."--Economist
"Marnia Lazreg's discussion of the infamous piece of cloth, however, is different from most other treatises on the issue. It is personal and passionate. . . . As such, it is a highly relevant intervention into the debate on the veil."--Julia Droeber, Times Higher Education
"Sociologist Lazreg, an authority on Algeria, has issued a call for frank and unmediated conversation among Muslim women. In a series of four letters that assert the major points of contention--modesty, sexual harassment, cultural identity, conviction, and piety--she lays bare the issues, apologetics, and real lives of veiled Muslim women in an unprecedented fashion. . . . A provocative text that demands a response."--Choice
"Questioning the Veil is an excellent examination of an extremely controversial and divisive piece of clothing, written with unimpeachable authority, and a valuable source of information for anyone seeking to achieve an informed perspective on the subject."--Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh, Charles Middleburgh blog
"Read as the author declares it to be, not a scholarly treatise, but a very personal inquiry, Marnia Lazreg's book is a rich and committed contribution to the current debate on the veil."--Irina Vainovski-Mihai, Insight Turkey
"[Lazreg's] analysis will no doubt frustrate Muslim women who say they choose to wear the veil, but her argument is well worth reading by anyone. . . . This should be required reading in any course discussing gender and Islam."--Daniel Martin Varisco, Contemporary Islam
"[Lazreg's] strong, but sensitive, prose rescues the veil debate from theological disputation and overly footnoted treatises."--Daniel Martin Varisco, Contemporary Islam
"[I]t is good that such a book exists. Every woman should read it and reflect on it honestly before making up her mind about veiling."--Fanny Le Reste, Suomen Antropologi
From the Inside Flap
"A wonderful read: well-written, well-constructed, well-argued, and highly significant. Lazreg addresses a controversial topic and takes intellectual risks. This little gem of a book is brilliant."--Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles
"Clearly expressed and convincing, this book makes arguments and counters opposing views in a subtle, gentle, and imaginative way. Readers will find the book fascinating and will be drawn to its personal nature and elegant answers."--Judith Herrin, King's College London
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were constrained to wear the veil (generic term for Islamic covering)
from one who grew up with this question as part of the culture in Algeria,
but was educated enough to know its history . Her decison to present the case histories, so to speak,in the form of letters gave the account an immediacy which brought thte issues to life.
as letters gives the book an immediacy and personal feeling which brought the issues to life.