Here is an excerpt from an article by Karen Armstrong “My years in a habit taught me the paradox of veiling” published in the guardian.com.
Today the veiled Muslim woman appears to symbolise the perceived Islamic threat, as nuns once epitomised the evils of popery. She seems a barbaric affront to hard-won values that are essential to our cultural identity: gender equality, freedom, transparency and openness. But in the Muslim world the veil has also acquired a new symbolism. (…)
I found my habit liberating: for seven years I never had to give a thought to my clothes, makeup and hair – all the rubbish that clutters the minds of the most liberated women. In the same way, Muslim women feel that the veil frees them from the constraints of some uncongenial aspects of western modernity. (…)
They argue that you do not have to look western to be modern. The veiled woman defies the sexual mores of the west, with its strange compulsion to “reveal all”. (…)
It is nice every now and then to find a moderate voice among the western scholars, also her political analysis of the history of the veil is quite interesting. I recommend to you to read the full article.