A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America
In A Quiet Revolution, Leila Ahmed complicates politicized understandings of “the veil.” Based on your reading of her text, what do you think hijab means for American Muslim women today?
Some nations have gone so far as to legislate the use of hijab in public settings. Why has women's attire become such a powerful symbol of Islam or national identity in the modern era?
Ahmed indicates that her research led her to a conclusion that was a “complete reversal” of her expectation to find that the resurgence of the veil meant a step backward in Muslim women’s pursuit of gender equity. Instead, she found that Islamist activism on behalf of social justice was paving the way for their integration into American democratic systems and traditions of activism.
- What does Ahmed's conclusion portend about the future of Islam in America?
- Do you think Muslim political activism will help American Muslims integrate more effectively into American society, or will it lead to political tensions that will result in the vilifying of Islam in American public life?