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Jasmin Zine
Katherine Bullock



Historically, the category of"Muslim woman" has been a malleable construct subject to constant redefinition to suit particular political, cultural, or ideo­logical purposes. Policing this category is done by errant religious groups like the Taliban as well as western secular feminists. Both groups inscribe com­peting and contradictory frames of reference on Muslim women's bodies. Located within this dialectical dynamic, the rhetoric of Muslim women's lib­eration is all too often caught up in the vast undercurrents of ideological extremism on the one hand, and racism and Islamophobia on the other.
Tn the dominant academic discourses, the images of subjugated Muslim women persist, despite feminist movement away from essential ism and the increasing academic and political investment in polyvocality and personal narrative. Discourses of "Otherness" in feminist writing quite often begin with liberal notions of "letting women speak." However, these voices are often muted by the alterity of the oppressed or victim-centered tropes through which they are represented. This type of representational politics implicitly denies that Muslim women possess the political maturity to speak for themselves ...

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