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The Veil as Metaphor of French Colonized Algeria

Author(s): Maria Boariu

Journal: Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
ISSN 1583-0039

Issue: 3;
Start page: 173;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Algeria | Islam | veil | gender | colonization | Koran | religion | segregation | patriarchy | family values | differences | social convention

The paper examines the shift of the veil from a religious and traditional symbol to a political metaphor during French colonized Algeria (1830-1962). It discusses the significance of veiling for both the colonizers and the colonists. For France, unveiled women would have been the proof of colonial power. For Algeria, veiling represented resistance to assimilation. Caught in between, the veil can be considered a metaphor for the Algerian colonization. The first part of the paper explores the religious and traditional meanings associated with the veil. The second part analyses the political importance of the veil during colonization and its use as a tool for misleading the French authorities.
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