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Bowen argues that the focus on headscarves came from a century-old sensitivity to the public presence of religion in schools, feared links between public expressions of Islamic identity and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that built support for a headscarf ban during 2003-2004. Although the defense of laïcité (secularity) was cited as the law's major justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media linked the scarves to more concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence toward women.
Written in engaging, jargon-free prose, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves is the first comprehensive and objective analysis of this subject, in any language, and it speaks to tensions between assimilation and diversity that extend well beyond France's borders.
The complete Koran consists of 11 suras — arranged from longest to shortest — plus an opening prayer and two closing charms. The selections in the present volume were carefully chose to give a cross-section of the whole and to illustrate Mohammed's teaching as it developed from the rhapsodic style of his early Meccan period to the workaday legislative material of the Medinan period. This excellent English translation replaces the original verse form with accurate, highly readable prose, making a treasury of eternal wisdom from the Koran accessible to both the novice and the serious student.