This article examines the effects of the uncritical use of the poststructuralist Foucauldian theoretical approach on studies of Middle Eastern women and gender. Focusing on the twin concepts of ‘empowerment’ and ‘resistance’ as they have been applied to account for the re-veiling trend among Muslim countries and communities, it explores the epistemic transformation of the explanation of this trend into its justification. It further provides an example of a historicized application of Michel Foucault's conception of power.

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