I have so much to say on #genderedIslamophobia and representations of the veil in British Media. Researchers have been arguing about this (from what I've read), since as far back as the 90's, and I think it's important to contextualise this #burka. A thread:
Representations of the veil in British media, when coupled with Foucault's theory of governmentality, engender a number of problematic power processes. The ideological implications of reporting on symbolic representations of Islam directly reinforce systemic power structures.
The language used in reporting on the veil/cultural Islamic dress, reveals themes of national identity/integration/state security. Media reporting fortifies Western hegemony by giving rise to this triad by conflating terrorism with the veil & propounding an 'us vs them' mentality
#BorisJohnson isn't the first, nor is he the last to make comments re the veil which have led to heated debate surrounding Muslim women's attire & its place in British society. Jack Straw made comments in '07 which led to the veil being fervently contested & now we have Ofsted 🙄
As Muslim women, and I've written about this before, we need to make sure that our voices do not disregard our niqab wearing sisters, who don't often find themselves represented in this new wave of Muslim women reclaiming the narrative.
It is our niqab wearing sisters who have the most subconscious and conscious hate visited upon by them by racists and Islamophobes, both through big p and little p policy. #Burka
Arguably, religious attire is oft. worn by Muslim women to either reassert their socio-political/ cultural identities and act as an affirmation of their ethno-religious selves, or as an act of obedience to God. >
> They signify an anti-colonial struggle and submission to something other than the hegemonic power structures, which results in them being perceived as a threat to social, cultural and political hegemony.
Media representations have made the veil synonymous with terrorism, linking Muslim women to perpetrators of heinous terror attacks, and have thus resulted in a 'gendered' Islamophobia. >
> In 1992, Ahmed wrote that, ‘veiling - to Western eyes, the most visible marker of the differentness … has become the open target of colonial attack and the spearhead of the assault on Muslim societies'.
The hypervisibility of Muslims has become a topic of national debate, & we need to understand the media’s role in securing this climate of fear and hatred. Any visual indicator of ‘Muslimness’ is now argued to have no place in contemporary society, unless it contributes to the £.
So this isn't anything new. This isn't about a scruffy MP. What we're up against is institutionalised Islamophobia that is intrinsically linked to, and is a (clear) part of our governing body - occasionally rearing it's ugly head for public consumption.

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