Il velo islamico e la pluralità dei suoi significati
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2011 - 1
I. ACOCELLA, The Islamic veil and its different meanings.
The debate about the Islamic veil has been present ever since Islam has taken roots in
Western countries and claimed its rights to self-expression and to have its own places for religious
activities in Western cities. Moreover, the use of veil has been associated to the most traditionalist and radical part of the Islamic world, leading to several misunderstandings and transforming
the veil into a very ambiguous object within the European context.
The major objective of this article is to give a different perspective to this issues and to
reveal what is hidden behind the public discourse over the Islamic veil. In fact, different types
of veils exist, and different meanings and values are attributed to them by women and men both
within the Islamic world and in the Western countries. This essay therefore emerges from the
need to shed light on the mystification associated with the veil and to propose alternative viewpoints
able to reduce a somewhat widespread alarmism and to go beyond the common representations
of Islamic women, which deny their identity and autonomy.
Key words: Gender issue, Community membership, Woman oppression.