The politics of the veil

Politics of the Veil“‘A kind of aggression’. ‘successor to the Berlin Wall’. ‘lever in the long power struggle between democratic values and fundamentalism’. ‘An insult to education’. ‘A terrorist operation’. These descriptions – by former French President Jacques Chirac; economist Jacques Attali; and philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann – do not refer to the next great menace to human civilization but rather to the Muslim woman’s headscarf, which covers the hair and neck, or, as it is known in France, the foulard islamique.”

Laila Lalami reviews Joan Wallach Scott’s recently published book The Politics of the Veil.

The Nation, 21 November 2007