The last chapter of Part II explores Rolla Selbak’s Three Veils
(2011). The religious symbol of the veil is analysed as standing
metonymically for the film’s three American Muslim protagonists. The chapter
suggests the film depicts the women’s struggles with familial and societal
expectations about their Muslim femininity, particularly regarding arranged
marriages, rape, domestic violence, and homosexuality. It is argued that the
film’s protagonists struggle with inherited ideas of what constitutes a
‘good Muslim’ and Arab girl, as they find themselves grappling with the
competing ideologies of American liberalism and Muslim traditionalism. The
three girls are constructed as the good, the deviant, and the bad Muslim.
Although Selbak tackles controversial topics regarding the American Muslim
community, it is argued she does so in an attempt at dealing with real
issues assailing Muslim women, yet she depicts an American Muslim community
that is gradually becoming more attune to the plights of women. Amira, the
homosexual Muslim, and Nikki, the queer Muslim, do not end up together, and
Amira becomes a hijab teacher in Jordan, which constitutes Selbak’s
admission that allegiance to faith and community can still impede the free
expression of homosexual desire.
This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance
of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two
audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.