Fanon, Western Liberation and the Muslims Veil

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Posted in The Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project

From Yasir Qadhi

Frantz Fanon, one of the founders of post colonialism theory (along with Edward Said), wrote of the frustration that the French colonizers in Algeria had regarding Muslim women who wore the face veil. His words, penned over fifty years ago, still carry much weight as we attempt to decipher why the West is so concerned about a small piece of cloth.

He said that ‘this woman, who sees without being seen, frustrates the colonizer.’ By abjuring Western standards of liberation, she asserts an identity, and even power, of her own, thus refusing to acknowledge the validity of, and inherent power in, her colonizer’s unveiling, subjugation and rape of her own culture.
Ironically, in claiming to liberate women from the constraints of the veil, the colonizer is forced to do so with violence and force, thus becoming the culprit of the very crime that he purports to fight.

– Summarized and extracted, in my own words, from Frantz Fanon’s, “Algeria Unveiled.”

One thought on “Fanon, Western Liberation and the Muslims Veil

  1. Pingback: End of term: Key ideas of Frantz Fanon on Colonisation | the Educationally Frustrated student

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