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What Is Veiling?$
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Sahar Amer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617756

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617756.001.0001

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What Is Veiling?

What Is Veiling?

(p.1) Introduction What Is Veiling?
What Is Veiling?

Sahar Amer

University of North Carolina Press

Veiling was not invented by Islam, nor is it specific to Muslims. Veiling has been practiced for thousands of years, both in and far beyond the Middle East, and well before Islam came into existence in the early seventh century. Islam adopted the veiling tradition at the dawn of the seventh century around the Mediterranean Basin. This book explores the complex history and meanings of Muslim veiling by discussing why the veil continues to be associated primarily with Muslims, how it became one of the most visible signs of Islam as a religion, or how it became an emotionally and politically charged object for both Muslims and non-Muslims. It also considers the variety of Muslim veiling practices in both Muslim-majority and Muslim-minority societies. The book focuses on various aspects of Muslim veiling, from religion and politics to art, society and economics, feminism, and fashion. To understand the meaning of veiling in Islam today, this introductory chapter traces the history of veiling practices in the pre-Islamic period and highlights the continuities and similarities among cultures and religious traditions.

Keywords:   veiling, Islam, Muslims, history, religion, non-Muslims, politics, feminism, art, economics

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