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I think the Turkish situation is fabulous in terms of showing the complexity.Because some form of Islamic head covering has always been a feature of Turkish life, even in the massive modernization movements that were part of the 1930s and '40s and '50s, because women in the villages still retained some form of Islamic head covering.

Also, culturally, it means a more civilized behavior--civilized in the sense that you are more controlled. So each time I would say it's women's body and it's their cautiousness. So this can be a more subversive role because they are boundary-setters. Today we become conscious of the importance of an Islamic movement through women. They are not only following men's desires, or men's power. There is a kind of Islamic feminism which is becoming more and more explicit in the movement.That's very hard for Muslims to grapple with, because again, the whole idea of identity reformation is being contested, not only from within Islam but from without as well.How would you analyze the changing meaning of the head scarf in Turkey over the last 10 years?Women hold the purse strings; women determine a lot of what happens, because ancient Egypt had a tradition of having women kings, women queens. Whereas in some societies, which tended to be nomadic, it was very much more male-oriented, and the patriarchal and very strong male orientation became predominant. So it means a way of behaving, more modest behavior. That's why veiling is more important than any other thing. In other words, men control their sexuality through how women restrain themselves?So as you go across much of the Muslim world, you will see this diversity, which really entered into Muslim life through custom, and not through the Quran and the hadith itself. First of all, the fact that they belong to Muslim identity and they follow God's rules and it's their faith. The girls in Egypt, the ones in Turkey, and the ones in Iran are not that different. In your book, you've referred to a sort of walling off of their sexuality: "This is how much access to me you get." The veiling is not only just covering the head; it indicates a way of behavior, which is called to be more modest, more pure--Puritan maybe--which means you limit your presence in public life. It comes from , meaning being more cautious, being more modest. Yes, especially, but they also have some codes--dressing codes and so on.

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