I have heard so many times how some Muslim Male scholars referred to the Hijab/ veil or Niqaab as a 30 g cloth. It reveals indeed their disdain and prejudice for Muslim women and how much deep the Western Orientalists grasped their way of thinking without realising it.
John Borneman reviews The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore and Politics ed by Jennifer Heath [LRB Vol. 30 No. 24] I have chosen the book review because it got quite a lot publicity in press media, and I’ll will quote only this passage from John Borneman:
The veil, in whatever form, is not and never will be just a scrap of cloth, as Taylor wishes the hijab to be thought of, because it is worn in order to symbolise something, or many things. Veils are not, as many of the contributors to The Veil want to think, merely a diversion or distraction from issues of more substance to more women, such as poverty, the distribution of rights, the allocation of resources, sociopolitical disenfranchisement and violence. Attending to these issues, important as they are, will not necessarily affect the ways in which the veil’s meanings are made.
John Borneman, who teaches anthropology at Princeton, is the author of Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers and an Anthropologist in Aleppo.