A little shameless self-promotion pervades today’s post. Last Thursday I was interviewed by Dan Damon of the BBC World Service for their weekly program on religion. The topic was the history and variety of veiling within Islamic societies. Yesterday the program aired for all 42 million listeners to be edified. You can hear the whole radio program online by going to their program webpage at http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/reporting_religion.shtml).

My comments appear about eight-ten minutes into the program and go on for about five minutes in total. The questions dealt with the history of veiling before Islam, how Muslims have interpreted the Quranic injunctions and anthropological analysis of the reasons Muslims veil. I don’t think there is anything profoundly new or startling in my comments, although I imagine quite a few listeners are surprised to learn that among the Islamized Berber Tuareg of Saharan Africa it was the men rather than women who veiled their faces to maintain social distance.

Comments welcome.

Daniel Martin Varisco