Whether such proselytizers from the West were colonial patriarchs, then, or missionaries or feminists, all essentially insisted that Muslims had to give up their native religion, customs, and dress, or at least reform their religions and habits along the recommended lines, and for all of them the veil and customs regarding women were the prime matters requiring reform. And all assumed their right to denounce native ways, and in particular the veil, and to set about undermining the culture in the name of whatever cause they claimed to be serving— civilizing the society, or Christianizing it, or saving women from the odious culture and religion in which they had the misfortune to find themselves.
Whether in the hands of patriarchal men or feminists, the ideas of Western feminists, the ideas of Western feminism essentially functioned to morally justify the attack on native societies and to support the notion of the comprehensive superiority of Europe… Anthropology, it has often been said, served as a handmaid to colonialism. Perhaps it must also be said that feminism, or the idea of feminism, served as its other handmaid.
Women and Gender in Islam, Leila Ahmed