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Headscarf debate as seen from the US

I have become pretty accustomed to the audience getting to the same issue sooner or later at every literature event I attend in the US. The recurring question is the famous one, i.e., the “headscarf debate in Turkey.”

Each time I start by saying that Turkey is a unique country. I stress that it should be assessed without making generalizations or employing broad categorization. How should we explain the headscarf issue to an average American whose single reference about the Islamic world is Iran and who readily associates Islam with a monolithic and stationary bloc or radical extremism, adopting polarization-oriented dilemmas? This is more so as we cannot even explain it to ourselves and we ourselves cannot fully understand it.



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