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“Indian demands for self-rule” hypocritical, because, in fact, “they only

wanted it for half the population” (Shamsie, 2014c: 273). As a feminist,

Vivian believes that “social change” of the country should take place

before talking about “political change,” namely independence (273). It

is the Pashtun men, rather than the English, that should be the enemies

of Pashtun women and any women, and, therefore, upon arriving at

her temporary home in the Valley, “[w]ith something of the same

grandness with which she had cast her first vote[,] she threw off the

vile cloth, and didn’t look back” (273). Here, in a translational space

between self and other that, according to Delanty’s argument, can lead

to “world openness” (2006: 27) if the core redefines itself from the

perspective of the periphery, Vivian does not seem to undergo the

process of “self-transformation in which new cultural forms take shape

and where new spaces of discourse open up leading to a

transformation in the social world” (Delanty, 2006: 44). Instead, she is

frustrated beneath the burqa, disdains Indian demands for

independence, and speaks as a representative for the Pashtun women.

Vivian’s desire to appropriate others counteracts “the tendency within

modernity” that Delanty optimistically believes “towards self-

problematization” (40). Rather than present self-problematization,

Shamsie’s novel sheds critical light on the long history of Western

feminism’s ties to imperialism.

Having created a white English feminist character and focused in

detail on the symbol of the veil,

A God in Every Stone

on the one hand

comments on the ironical dissociation of Britain’s national movement

of social reforms in the early 20th century from its oppression of the

imperial subjects, and on the other hand compels the reader to rethink

the global phenomenon of the unveiling of Muslim women, which has

been an obsession, especially in the West, from the first wave of

feminism till now. The situation nowadays is even more urgent as

Duffy points out, “especially as the contested issue of the lawfulness of

the burqa in France, Quebec and the United Kingdom gains traction

and legitimizes a wide-reaching stigmatization of Muslim women”

(n.d.). Indeed, as Duffy has persuasively argued, “[b]y introducing a