Associate Professor imam Sadiq University


Hijab is a sign, a sign of cultural differences which has various emergences in different communities. In this article the Islamic veil among Muslims in the West is discussed as an “Islamic Identity” and as a phenomenon of “Cultural Difference” with the Western societies. This sign has represented the Muslim not only as a religious group, a minority which belongs to the East, and a group of people that their culture is different with the dominant culture of the West, but also is different from Westerners how does not accept the culture of veil for women in general. Furthermore, it is emerging different cultural and religious discourses in the Western societies which could be assumed as a challenge to the dominant culture of freedom, liberalism and feminism discourse. This paper aims to clarify the approaches of cultural semiotics, especially, the cultural policy of difference as a new approach to strengthen the neo-orientalism and neo-colonialism approaches and how the discourse of the veil and the otherness is developed in the Western societies. Discourse analysis of various news and reports in Western Media demonstrate the emergence of new methods of discourse on issues related to Islam and Muslims in general and the “Islamic veil” as a special way of life to put the “Islamic Identity” in opposition to the “Western Identity” which is affected by the orientalism discourse on its old and new approaches.
This new way of discourse is trying to institutionalize the idea of “I and the other” based on the new understanding of “otherness” and “the cultural policies of difference”.