Search
×

Sign up

Use your Facebook account for quick registration

OR

Create a Shvoong account from scratch

Already a Member? Sign In!
×

Sign In

Sign in using your Facebook account

OR

Not a Member? Sign up!
×

Sign up

Use your Facebook account for quick registration

OR

Sign In

Sign in using your Facebook account

Shvoong Home>Social Sciences>Sociology>The Muslim Diaspora in Western Europe: The Islamic Headscarf (Hijab) Summary

The Muslim Diaspora in Western Europe: The Islamic Headscarf (Hijab)

Article Summary   by:Benjermine     Original Author: Chouki El Hamel
ª
 
StartFragment

El Hamel, Chouki. (2002). Muslim Diaspora in Western Europe: The Islamic Headscarf (Hijab), the Media and Muslims’ Integration in France. Citizenship Studies, Vol. 6 (3), 293-308.

            Dr. Chouki El Hamel is a well-respected professor at Arizona State University, who has published a multitude of articles based on issues concerning women and Islam in Africa and France. El Hamel’s article attempts to examine the recent controversy surrounding the traditional hijab and the effects it has on the integration of the Muslim people in to a secular French community. He presents his central argument in two forms in that he argues that the hijab acts as a source of “privilege” and a source of “discrimination” for traditional Muslim’s trying to integrate into a modern secular society.

            El Hamel begins his argument by providing a detailed background into the traditional and contemporary viewpoint of the connection between France and the Islamic community. Which leads to his first finding that the French nation is experiencing a current phenomenon of Islamicization since the resurgence of the Islamic culture throughout 1980’s and onward. The article then begins to establish El Hamel’s central argument by discussing the relation between the Islamic headscarf as a religious signifier for acts of discrimination and feminist privilege.

            The article takes a tern and examines the discourse of the dominant French culture and how it portrays a negative portrayal of the Muslim faith, this attempts to validate El Hamel’s thesis that the hijab acts as a source of discrimination. El Hamel then argues that this dominant French culture is what led to the banning of the hijab by the “minister of Education”.   El Hamel argues that the ban occurred not only because of the religious connection associated with it, because the French culture is upset with the recent Islamic emergence; but also because of the portrayal of the hijab as oppressive for women which is presented by “popular journals and the mass media”.

            El Hamel then goes on to attempt to support his second argument surrounding the connection of privilege associated with the hijab in French culture. He does this by conducting a series of in-depth interviews with Islamic and French feminists in order to get their stance on the hijab. These interviews leads El Hamel to the conclusion that although in general there is a support for Islamic women wearing the hijab as a source of pride, some women question the validity of the hijab as dawned by the female not because of pride but because they are forced to wear it following the Islamic patriarchal code. However El Hamel offers a counter argument by drawing a parallel between the Islamic hijab and the Christian long dressed skirts dawned by many French school children, stating that the children are forced to wear long skirts because of their religious convictions put on them by their parents particularly their fathers (which is similar to he hijab and Muslim children). This only validates An argument El Hamel makes throughout his article insisting that French tolerance must begin at the school level not through media portrayal of the hijab.

            This article tackles the issue of Islamic tolerance through the wearing and/or banning of the Muslim hijab. El Hamel’s article takes the issue of the hijab and Islamic dress

Published: June 17, 2008   
Please Rate this Summary : 1 2 3 4 5
Translate Send Link Print
X

.