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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Faith and Fashion - A select list

Extract from a Review: "In Assyrian, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine empires veiling was a mark of prestige and status. The author, Faegheh Shirazi, who is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, specializes in textiles and material cultures studies. She shows, through a series of a half dozen chapters, the immense versatility of meaning that the veil can have, depending on the context of its use. In Iranian cinema, for example, its use means adhering to the strictures of Islam, which forbids the erotic, whereas in Indian cinema it's meant to be titillating and erotic. In a chapter entitled "Veiled Images in American Erotica," cartoons from the pages of "Playboy," "Penthouse," and "Hustler" are examined. A chapter on advertising shows how the veil is used to sell automobiles, perfume, cigarettes, computers, and sanitary napkins, among dozens of other products. There are chapters covering military, political, and literary aspects as well as film. In Muslim cultures the veil is used to prevent "fitna," defined as the chaos caused by women's sexuality. If this is true, then the case might be made that a good part of the world is in total chaos. Regardless of your viewpoint, the book is thought provoking for anyone interested in human beings and culture. " If You're Curious About Why Women Wear Veils, By Ken T Barnett on August 23, 2001 @

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