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Visibly Muslim By Emma Tarlo Essay

1032 words - 5 pages

Visibly muslim, an ethnography published by Emma Tarlo, portrays the visibility of British muslims through their fashion, politics and faith (Tarlo 2010). The text is constructed in a way that allows non-muslim readers to understand the culture of the muslim faith and take a look into the culture and the hardships they face in society, all through the eyes of a non-muslim British female (Tarlo 2010). Ethnicity is presented as an outlook a community has that sets them apart from the rest, either through dress, religion, language and/or solidarity, as presented in (Davis 2014) lecture material. In Visibly Muslim the visibility of ethnicity in an urban setting is discussed, and that visibility ...view middle of the document...

As ( Tarlo 2010) explains, in the media there is a great hunger to portray images of women that are concealed and covered, and this can represent muslims in a light which sees them as lacking integration, being oppressed and threatening others, by unintentionally creating conflict by going against the ‘norms’ of society.

Another way conflict has made the ethnic visibility of muslims portrayed through media is the Jiljab controversy of 2002 (Tarlo 2010). In September of 2002, a 13 year old girl of Bengali origin and her brothers, threatened the head principal of an London high school, for not allowing their sister to wear the hijab, because they said the Shalwar kamiz was not legitimate enough for their sister to express her religious beliefs. This matter was taken to court in 2004 where the brothers and their sister pleaded their case and walked out winners (Tarlo 2010). This controversy attracted major media attention and was featured in newspapers and television documents around the world (Tarlo 2010). This could be seen to exemplify the visibility of muslims in a way that portrays them to be people who ‘actively, publicly and consciously advocate their religious identity’ to the world (Schmidt 2011) showing that due to the conflict that had risen between a girl, her brothers and the school principal the medias effect portrayed this conflict to the whole world, representing muslims in a light that portrayed them as uncompromising and unreasonable, demanding people, which were at odds with ‘western liberal values’ (Tarlo 2010)

When it comes to ethnic visibility in an urban setting the ‘Hijab at the hairdressers’ story which was mentioned in Tarlo’s book, portrays the differences between muslims and the west society and the conflict between the different races portraying muslims in a light that threatens the values of normal society making others want to stay distant and away from them (Tarlo 2010), this can also portray the non-muslim culture in a way that is seen to be discriminative and cold towards people with difference. The story is about a salon owner of Irish catholic...

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