Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East [NOOK Book]

Overview


The Middle East has long been something of a mystery to Westerners, and in particular, the sexual mores of the region continue to fascinate. Arabs are often described as being in a state of Islam-induced sexual anxiety and young Muslims’ frustrations are said to be exacerbated by increasing exposure to the licentiousness of the West. Here, Middle East expert John R. Bradley sets out to uncover the truth about sex in countries like Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Yemen.  Among many startling revelations, Bradley ...

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Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East

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Overview


The Middle East has long been something of a mystery to Westerners, and in particular, the sexual mores of the region continue to fascinate. Arabs are often described as being in a state of Islam-induced sexual anxiety and young Muslims’ frustrations are said to be exacerbated by increasing exposure to the licentiousness of the West. Here, Middle East expert John R. Bradley sets out to uncover the truth about sex in countries like Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Yemen.  Among many startling revelations, Bradley reports on how "temporary" Islamic marriages allow for illicit sex in the theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia; "child brides" that are sold off to older Arab men according to ancient tribal traditions; the hypocrisy that undermines publicized crackdowns on the thriving sex industry in the Persian Gulf; and how, despite widespread denial, homosexuality is still deeply ingrained in the region's social fabric.

Richly detailed and nuanced, Behind the Veil of Vice sheds light on a taboo subject and unravels widely held myths about the region. In the process, Bradley also delivers an important message about our own society’s contradictions.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bradley (Inside Egypt) takes on Western prejudices and misconceptions in this sweeping exposé of Arabic sexual mores. Written in response to Western writers and pundits who view Muslim sexual repression and shame as the underlying engine of terrorism and Islamist fervor, the author takes a panoramic look at sexual behavior in the region. Emphasizing the profound differences between--and within--various Muslim and Arab communities, he definitively dispels the notion of any single dominant Muslim sexuality or moral norm. Instead, Bradley argues, the prurient concerns of the West are mostly distractions from real social, political, and economic problems faced in the Middle East--many of which the West plays a major role in perpetuating--which drive Muslim unrest. Drawing on extensive research as well as the author's own substantial firsthand knowledge of the region, the book offers an essential corrective to the fantasies and misinformation about Middle Eastern cultures. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Recommend... for its accessibility, wealth of detailed content, and its potential appeal for scholars working in the fields of sex work and Middle East studies.... Bradley succeeds in his aim to effectively uncover the mysteries surrounding the business and culture of sex in the Middle East. He presents a very nuanced account of the realities of prostitution in various Middle Eastern countries, supplemented statistically and anecdotally. Bradley identifies a range of existent liberal cultural identities and attitudes towards sex in the countries he has visited, accompanied by an underground culture of sex that is often not as shrouded in mystery as western media so commonly depicts."—LSE Review of Books

"Drawing on extensive research as well as the author's own substantial firsthand knowledge of the region, the book offers an essential corrective to the fantasies and misinformation about Middle Eastern cultures." —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Inside Egypt:

“Essential reading for anyone interested in modern Egypt and the looming dramas of the Arab world.”—United Press International

“In this highly readable and thoughtful volume, Bradley provides a devastating critique of Egypt’s current dictatorial government.”—Library Journal

“Compelling… Inside Egypt depicts a hopelessly dysfunctional country where poverty, torture, and corruption are ubiquitous.”—New Statesman (UK)

“John R. Bradley is a writer looking for the truth in Arab countries ruled by dictators. His writing is brave and essential to our understanding of the reality behind the official, artificial image of our societies.”—Alaa Al Aswany, Egyptian author of the international bestselling novels The Yacoubian Building and Chicago

Praise for Saudi Arabia Exposed:

“A highly informed, temperate, and understanding account of a country… that is an enigma.”—The New York Times

“Brings to life the tensions between rulers and ruled, offering poignant evidence of widespread disillusionment with the Saudi royal family.”—Foreign Affairs

“A thoughtful, incisive portrait of a fractured nation. . . [a] remarkable volume.”—Newsweek

“[Bradley] uses a graceful journalist’s pen to write with scholarly authority... shows a sensitivity rare for a Westerner, reaching directly to the society’s core.”—The Nation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230110366
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,291,711
  • File size: 342 KB

Meet the Author


John R. Bradley was born in England in 1970. He was educated at University College London, Dartmouth College, and Exeter College, Oxford. He has written for the Washington Quarterly, the New Republic, the Economist, Newsweek, Prospect, the London Telegraph, Salon, and the London Sunday Times. Fluent in Egyptian Arabic, he is the author of Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis (2005), a Foreign Affairs bestseller, and the critically acclaimed Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution (2008).

 
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

one Dissent in Damascus 15

two Islamic Feminism 45

three Temporary Marriages 79

four Child Brides 113

five Pleasure Island 149

six Moral Panic 189

seven Veils and Vices 217

Conclusion 257

Notes 261

Index 275

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Customer Reviews

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