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Veiled ThreatsRepresenting the Muslim Woman in Public Policy Discourses$
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Naaz Rashid

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325178

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325178.001.0001

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Giving the silent majority a stronger voice?

Giving the silent majority a stronger voice?

Chapter:
(p.73) Four Giving the silent majority a stronger voice?
Source:
Veiled Threats
Author(s):

Naaz Rashid

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447325178.003.0004

This chapter looks at one of the government’s stated objectives to ‘give the silent majority a stronger voice’ through initiatives focused on Muslim women. Firstly, it explores the idea that Muslim women were absent from the political arena and needed the state’s intervention in the form of initiatives to be empowered. It then discusses interviewees’ understandings of Muslim women’s alleged silence in relation to those suggested in the policy discourses, considering the ways in which the state’s attempts to ‘give voice’ worked in practice. It is focused on the establishment of NMWAG (the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group), which was set up to advise the government on issues affecting Muslim women, and on the way it operated in practice. The chapter argues that the operation of such initiatives worked instead to constrain Muslim women’s voices, restricting ‘voice’ to a narrow range of speakers, speaking about a narrow range of issues.

Keywords:   NMWAG, Muslim women, the silent majority, political arena, intervention, policy discourses

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