Muslim World Journal of Human Rights
Editor-in-Chief: Kayaoglu, Turan
Ed. by Baderin, Mashood A. / Monshipouri, Mahmood / Welchman, Lynn
1 Issue per year
CiteScore 2017: 0.08
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.102
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.016
Hijab covering of a Muslim woman's body is the most visible Islamic mandate. For a century it has been a major site of ideological struggle between traditionalism and modernity, and a yardstick for measuring the emancipation or repression of Muslim women. In recent decades hijab has become an arena where Islamist and secular feminist rhetoric have clashed. For Islamists, hijab represents their distinct identity and their claim to religious authenticity: it as a divine mandate that protects women and defines their place in society. For secular feminists, hijab represents women's oppression: it is a patriarchal mandate that denies women the right to control their bodies and to choose what to wear. The clash has been particularly strident in Iran, where the state has twice intervened with legislation to an extent that no other Muslim country has experienced. Iran, too, has been a prime site for the emergence of `Islamic feminist' discourses that speak of hijab not as a `duty,' but as a `right,' and as a social rather than a religious mandate, and finds juristic arguments to support this position. This article traces the genealogy of this new juristic position from notions of hijab in classical Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). It documents how jurisprudential positions and notions of hijab in Iran evolved in response to socio-political factors. It concludes by highlighting wider implications of the new juristic position on hijab for establishing common ground between secular feminist and Islamic discourses.
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