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Women as citizens

discourses about modernity and gender explicitly invoked. Yet, despite what Stoler calls this “colonial aphasia”, imperial discourses have a long shelf life and uncannily echo many contemporary positions on “Muslim” or South Asian women around dress, marriage and divorce, and intimate life. This aphasia absolves contemporary discourses from the taint of colonialism but it also forecloses links to a longer historical perspective. As Stoler puts it, ‘By bracketing the history of colonial racism, the popularity of the National Front’s extreme Right racism in the 1990s 162

in Postcolonial minorities in Britain and France
The backlash against multiculturalism

Modood does, of becoming a ‘missionary ideology’ wanting to impose ‘western supremacy’ on non-Westerners (Modood, 2008a). Even if that were true, such dismissals do not address the valid concerns about the treatment of South Asian women under the rubric of “tradition”. A fair response would both agree and disagree with Modood. Some feminist scholars try to balance the demands of culture and gender. Some, like Gita Sahgal and Nira Yuva-Davis, acknowledge that the term fundamentalism has a particular political salience for nativists and xenophobes, but the burden of

in Postcolonial minorities in Britain and France