- 人間社会学研究集録 (ISSN:1880683X)
- vol.3, pp.3-26, 2008-02-29
The gender guidelines for asylum determination are the legal instrument expected to compensate for silence concerning gender-related persecution in the Refugee Convention. This paper focuses on Canadian and US decisions concerning gender-related asylum cases in order to examine the effects and functions of these guidelines. My argument centers on the cases of Muslim women who sought asylum from gender-related persecution, supposedly caused by their 'oppositional' or 'unfavorable' attitudes or opinions towards the code of dressing, conduct or ethics of Muslim societies. By studying the description of these women refugees in asylum decisions, I show how they are defined as 'victims of Islam' and how their image as vicims is then used to convey a negative image of Islam. The case of Nada, an asylum seeker to Canada, is especially striking, because the media portrayal of Nadia's case was effectively controlled by the host country, while the Nadia's own view of Islam was both ignored and denied. Muslim websites and Muslim feminist writers persuasively expose the problematic issues that arise from such cases. This investigation leads me to raise questions about the humanitarian effects and functions of the gender guidelines. Indeed, the guidelines may have a detrimental function by fostering negative stereotypes of Islam.