Veiling, Islam, and Fashion

Fatih-2009BigScreenThis February (2013), the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies took on the politically charged topic of veiling  at its annual conference with several goals in mind: to examine the persistence of stereotypical representations of the veil; to understand the veil and its multiple meanings, styles, and practices; and to recognize Muslim women as subjects rather than dehumanized objects or icons. Dr. Banu Gokariksel, from the Department of Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill, explains why the veil often appears a convenient symbol of the Muslim Other to be feared, or alternatively, of the Muslim ideal to be upheld. As Dr. Gokariksel explains,  “veiling-fashion, then, is also part of how Muslim women navigate the everyday geopolitics of ‘Islamic threat.’ By wearing lighter colors and more ‘pleasing’ styles, Muslim women not only attempt to dispel the negative associations of the veil, but also to position themselves as fashion-conscious consumers, integrating into ‘modern’ society –as a profitable niche market, no less.” To read Dr. Gokariksel’s full article, see here.