Have you ever noticed…?

….the sheer multitude of books with pictures of women in “niqab” on the cover? All have “something” to do with Islam and/or with Muslim women. I just realized this as I was scanning the on-line book catalog of my local public library and, frankly,  I find it mildly amusing yet, decidedly obnoxious. To add to the hilarity of the situation, many have something about “veils” in the cover and of course there is some arabesque-ish-looking (to un-edu-mac-ated eyes) font used for the cover title.

Heres just a few examples…

Nauseated yet? And thats not even half of the covers I just glanced through…they go on and on and on (to infinity and beyond!)

Some thoughts…first off, why so many pictures of “exotic” looking women-usually with thickly kohl rimmed eyes holding up diaphanous veils…like as if they beckon…come, grab this book and I will “drop” my veil and give you a peek inside. Yah, I know…kind of creepy but, c’mon…doesnt that thought strike you as on target? OR you have the strict niqabi in the Saudi style headband niqab. Either/or…seductive niqabi or strict niqabi. Way to go publishers!!! Lets use ’em stereotypes.

Hmmm…I fathom a thought that most Niqabis would indeed find the assumptions that publishers hold about them and use against them to publish books as rather horrifying!


you have…Muslim women who look like the “squeaky” clean…WASP next door!…on the covers of books which hope to either A- de-mystify…that woman with the diaphanous veils and kohl rimmed eyes seen on other book covers OR B-  pander to the fundamentalist Christian movement. Ameen! yeehaw…git along now cowpokes…my chittlins r almost dun! (ahem…no offense to the Southern/Texan Muslims reading this post!)

For example…I’m sure this sister is perfectly wonderful…I’m just using her cover to illustrate what I mean! LOL

Note..interestingly enough…she has veil on her cover! Obviously a way to pique the interest of those who think Muslim women are those mystical, mysteriously, kohl rimmed chicks who walk around with diaphanous veils…ready to drop at the moments notice.

Which leads me too…yes…I couldn’t resist!

…I seriously need to consider doing a paper about this and then publishing it! Its just too funny…

Has anyone else noticed this? Or am I the weird one?


7 thoughts on “Have you ever noticed…?

  1. Assalam alaikum.

    Welcome back! Ramadan kareem!

    I noticed same thing last weekend. i was at Geant supermarket and at the book department I noticed 7-8 books with veiled women on the cover- all the Sasson’s books and some others. It’s a popular trick to attract readers. A veiled, oppressed woman is a hot topic. There’s something mysterious, alluring about veiled women- especially about the beautiful, beautifully veiled women. Many non-muslims are fascinated by veils, there’s definitely something erotic in it. Veils often associate with harems, don’t they. they are in some way a symbol of male dominance over a woman.

    Anyhow, if you write some paper/article on this topic, you just HAVE to put a picture of a seductively veiled female there. To attract more readers 🙂

  2. I find it annoying when someone (especially an ex-Muslim) decides they are the official voice of niqabi sisters, or Muslim women! It is even more bothersome that their are Christians quite willing to take their words as fact.

    I reverted to Islam December 1, 2001. My husband made his Shahada 5 weeks later. Alhumdulillah!

    No Imam’s belief got me started wearing niqab. My husband left it up to me to decide and actually cautioned me against wearing it in the high Summer heat and humidity, fearing it would be uncomfortable, difficult to breath and therefore unhealthy.

  3. Assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I’m sick and tired with the obsession about the niqab and what’s behind it.

    Of course, I wouldn’t consider pictures of uncovered women to be the goal, either. Why not depict Muslim women, dressed however they dress, doing what normal people do? Muslim women shop, care for their families, hold down jobs, work on their family farm, break trails in the woods, garden…

    Whatever happened to treating us as the humans that we are?

  4. You will find the same if you google ‘muslim women’. A lot of pics of niqabis, lot of them erotic. It’s just the exoticizing of muslim women, treating them as the ‘Exotic Other’. Cheap attempt at attracting profits by the writers and publishers of such books. I suppose they think that books about muslimahs which do not talk about their ‘liberation’ or do not attempt to ‘unveil’ their secret lives just wouldn’t sell.

  5. Yeah, it’s all over the place! People love to read things confirming views we already have and most of these books are not favorable to the niqab or to Islam in general. A lot of times it’s not about Islam the religion but about culture in a Muslim-majority country but of course the link to Islam the religion is easy to make. “If Muslims do it, it must be Islam.”

  6. I agree with Candice.
    I remember reading a book about a Saudi princess, it was another one of those “VEIL” titles. I’m thinking: “Crap, the Muslim life can’t be that bad, especially for a Saudi princess.
    The cover had a “veiled” woman with red pumps, throwing her veil about. She was symbolizing how liberated she was from telling the reader about her untroubled world of overstuffed couches, over-zealous aunts, a greedy husband and a life of Islamic complications that most Muslims would make dua’a to stay away from.

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