When it comes to Women in Islam much has been written about their dress, hijab, veils and burqas. Katherine Bullock and Asma Barlas are examples of such examiners; these two women investigated the veil and western politics of the body. Katherine Bullock observes veiling in her book “Rethinking Muslim women and the veil” by critically examining western media’s representation and perceptions of the veil. She also takes it one step further by interviewing sixteen Muslim women residing in Toronto; with attempts to challenge the popular western stereotype that the veil is oppressive and to stress the multiple meanings behind Muslim women’s choice of covering (Bullock, 2002). Whereas Asma Barlas explores the politics of morality and immorality of Muslim bodies, also touching on Islamic discourses on veiling and the dissonances between Muslim tradition and the Quran (Barlas, 2009). This paper examines both key questions and issues raised by these two authors along with an overview of overlapping themes found in both articles.
Bullock converted to Islam throughout the course of her studies. Her personal responses to much western journalistic views is reflected in much in her writing, along with her personal experiences living as white middle class Muslim woman. In much of Bullocks writing in this book, one can note that she is clearly frustrated and overwhelmed by the West’s refusal to respect Muslim women dress. The theme that surfaces throughout the book seeks to challenge, “The popular western stereotype that the veil is oppressive” and to stress the multiple meanings and reason’s behind the personal choice of wearing a veil (Bullock, 2002). She argues that the social misconstruction of the veil being oppressive is not a true reflection of the lives of Muslim women (Bullock, 2002). However she is also careful to note that for some Muslim women, historically and in some sociopolitical settings, enforced veiling is true. Which in this case,