Sadia Abbas — The Echo Chamber of Freedom


The Veil

This essay argues that notions of the subject, individualism, freedom, agency, change, and history (in other words, the ideas that are used to mark the boundaries of the West, and that generate the most sensitized aporias of modernity) have come to cluster around the figure of the Muslim woman (for whom the metonym is increasingly the veil): object of imperial rescue, justification for imperial warfare, Orientalist cipher, target of jihadist violence, and increasingly the discursive site upon which is worked out the central preoccupation of our time: How do you free yourself from freedom?


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