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Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others

by Lila Abu-Lughod

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“This article explores the ethics of the current “War on Terrorism”, asking whether anthropology, the discipline devoted to understanding and dealing with cultural difference, can provide us with critical purchase on the justifications made for American intervention in Afghanistan in terms of liberating, or saving, Afghan women

I develop many of these arguments about the limits of “cultural relativism” through a consideration of the burqa and the many meanings of veiling in the Muslim world.”

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