Islamophobia is preventing the empowerment of Muslim women repressed by political agendas

First published on The Conversation on 3 September and last updated on 5 September 2018

For many, Muslim veiling represents the oppression of women in Islam. The head and/or face veils are a frequent topic of debate, which suggests that “saving” Muslim women from their oppressive religion is a moral duty of the West.

But focusing on the (in)visibility of women in Islam does not help the cause of empowering women in Muslim societies. Looking through the lens of Islamophobia, all Muslim societies are seen the same, where women are subjected to the same oppression. However, the contrasting examples of Saudi Arabia and Turkey show that this could not be further from truth. Muslim women are fighting for their rights, but are being held back by political moves.

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