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Analysis Of Lila Abu Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?

1008 words - 5 pages

Lila Abu-Lughod’s article titled, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?” takes a closer look at the problematic ethnocentric approach many have when trying to gain an understanding of another culture that may be foreign to that individual. In this analytical paper, Lughod looks at women in Islam, specifically the treatment of women and how it might be utilized as a justification for invading into a country and liberating its people. The country Lughod refers to in her article is Afghanistan, and Lughod points out the misunderstanding from the people to the Bush administration like First Lady Laura Bush who believed that intervention was necessary to free women from the captivity of their own ...view middle of the document...

These so called acts of liberation in history created resentment amongst the people they were trying to liberate, and Lughod makes the connection between the U.S. actions and their previous counterparts, “so we need to be wary when Lord Cromer in British-ruled Egypt, French ladies in Algeria, and Laura Bush, all with military troops behind them, claim to be saving or liberating Muslim women.”
Referring back to the veil, which is one of the singular images along with others that tie into perceived oppression. This suspicion of oppression derives from the lack of understanding and creates the dangerous misconception that once the people become liberated, they will instantaneously adopt our way of living. Lughod further elaborates upon this point by questioning that “once “free” from the Taliban, they (the women) would go “back” to their belly shirts and blue jeans?” Through this question, it becomes clear how women colonialism uses distortion as a means for liberation. It is easy to forget that the veil has its different forms and that some women choose to cover their faces whereas others prefer to cover their heads-both of which are valid interpretations according to Islamic jurisprudence. Although this maybe surprising to some, Islamic jurisprudence goes back in history before the formation of the Taliban; Lughod emphasizes this point as well that the veil serves to protect one’s modesty rather than excluding them from society. Contrary to popular belief, the veil Moreover, Lughod mentions that the exclusivity of the veil is not held only by Islam, but other religions such as Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism utilize the veil in one form or another, but the reasoning behind it is the same. The image of the veil speaks volume to people who have not seen it before, therefore it is easy to use it as a forefront issue and disregard actual oppression.
Throughout the analytical piece, Lughod refers to ignorance of the topic she is discussing several times but does not explicitly refer to it under a common theme. From my...

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