STEREOTYPING MUSLIM WOMEN’S IDENTITIES THROUGH HIJAB IN THE WEST: A STUDY OF COUNTER STEREOTYPES IN HOME FIRE AND THREE DAUGHTERS OF EVE
Keywords:Hijab,Muslim Identities, Hybridity, Stereotypes, Islamophobia, ethnocentrism, Xenophobia, Plurality, Multiculturalism.
There has been a growing controversy surrounding the use of Hijabin the West. The fashion invites mixed responses globally; however, the majority of the Western population deems it a symbol of religious fanaticism, a marker of gender oppression andan obstacle to good community relations. The feelings have even crept into the policy circles and a score of countries, France being the pioneer, have banned it. However, Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire and Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve dispelits stereotypical representationand negateits role in obstructing the social interaction of Muslim women in the West. The study contends that hijab neither promotes radical tendencies nor restricts Muslim women way of life in the West. Thestereotypical representation is promoted by the rising islamophobia and racism. This is a qualitative studybased on the two novels. The analysis is developed around the theoretical framework of Homi K. Bhaba’s Cultural Hybridity and Victor Turner’s Liminality. The study, unlike the common perception, concludes that migrants become culturally hybrid and hijab neither reflects radical tendencies nor in any way restricts Muslim women way of life, the negative connotations are triggered by the islamophobia, ethnocentrism, dwindling plurality and multiculturalism in the Western society.