The Islamic headscarf has become the subject of heated legal and political debate. France and Germany have legislated against it, and even the UK, long a champion of multiculturalism, has recently restricted the veil proper. Ever since home-grown Islamic terrorism struck Europe, these debates have become even more prominent, impassioned and wide-ranging, with vital global importance.
In this concise and beautifully written introduction to the politics of the veil in modern societies, Christian Joppke examines why a piece of clothing could have led to such controversy. He dissects the multiple meanings of the Islamic headscarf, and explores its links with the global rise of Islam, Muslim integration, and the retreat from multiculturalism. He argues that the headscarf functions as a mirror of identity, but one in which national and liberal identities overlap, exposing the paradox that while it may be an affront to liberal values, its suppression is equally illiberal.
Veil: Mirror of Identity will illuminate, challenge and provoke readers, and will make compelling reading for scholars, students and general readers alike