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Sunday, June 7, 2009

What About The Right Not To Wear Head Covering

In his "historic" speech to the Muslim world, Barack Obama spoke up for the rights of women. The first example Obama used was the right of Muslim women in the West to wear hair covering (italics mine):
The sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.

I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.
Another odd choice by Obama, just like his claim that "rules" in the U.S. make if "harder" for Muslims to donate to charity. Obama may have thought he was being brave by speaking up for Muslim women in the West, but he was being cowardly because in many Muslim countries women are forced to wear veils, burqas, and other types of clothing which are part-and-parcel of the subjugation of women. By focusing on the right to wear hair covering, not the oppressive practices in which hair covering and more restrictive clothing is forced upon women, Obama threw women's liberation under the bus.

Obama really would have been brave if he told the Muslim world that just as we will fight for the right of Muslim women in the West to wear hair covering, we will stand up for the right of all women not to wear hair covering or other restrictive clothing. That would have been a truly historic statement, rather than politically correct nonsense:
And what's all this about head scarves? "I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal," Obama said. Talk about a straw man. Isn't the real wardrobe issue for many Muslim women that they must cover, smother and nearly blind themselves in burqas, whether that's their choice or not?
And Obama could break with the tradition, not unique to Obama or to any one political party, of by refusing to have American women representing this country forced to wear head covering when visiting Muslim countries. Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Nancy Pelosi, and many other women who are successful and supportive of women's rights have engaged in this practice when traveling to Muslim countries.

Respect is a two-way street, and if we are to respect the practices of Muslim women, Muslims should respect the practices of non-Muslim women.

Related Posts:
Obama's Muslim Charity Canard
"Some Say" Obama Is A Shorter

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  1. I’m not a fan of very many politicians and Barack hasn’t made the club yet.

    But, knowing well, as we do, his particular tendency to speak allegorically (and use straw-man arguments), I cannot give too much weight to his literal language.

    In fact, looking at that paragraph another way, it would seem as though he was being clearly sarcastic with his audience. In that case, his statement is pure rhetorical genius.

  2. Oh William - thank you, thank you for pointing this out. I was screaming this at the T.V. during the speech- I appreciate you giving it a wider audience than just my husband and mother...

  3. I agree 100%. Here's my best test for "the Muslim world": If perchance Chancellor Angela Merkel were to visit, would she, as a visiting head of government from Europe's larger nation, be required to cover her hair?

  4. Well said and absolutely true.

    We know damn well that they won't be tolerant of our views. Why are we so eager to kow-tow to them?

    Oh, right. Oil. And Obama's personal roots in the region. And his goal (just like every other liberal president) to be the one to facilitate a lasting peace in the middle-east.

    Good luck with that, Obama. You are just making us look weaker and weaker...

    Thanks for posting this, William.

  5. GOD BLESS YOU, PROFESSOR JACOBSON!!!! It sends me into the stratosphere to see American women in headscarves on Muslim soil. Except for Hillary Clinton. I found that amusing.

  6. The image of Nancy Pelosi in the headscarf pisses me off that a high-ranking government official representing the free women of the United States would give up her right to choose.
    I could not remember Condoleezza Rice submitting to the indignity forced on women by islamic bigots. I found the following.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007
    Maine Writer
    About Me
    Name: Juliana L'Heureux Location: Topsham, Maine, United States
    Sitting in Saudi Arabia Sans Berka: Condoleezza Rice

    People who follow fashion and haute couture will get a fright-night scare by checking out this webpage: ttp://www.alhannah.com/cgi-bin/avg?a;niqab. Thankfully, our United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was not interested in the latest Riyadh designs for the all concealing "berka" or Islam veil when she sat side by side with her hosts and Arab peers during a recent televised visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Congratulations and a heart felt "thank you", Madame Secretary, for making a magnificent presence in Riyadh sans berka.

    In my opinion, the berka is symbolic of everything that is wrong with the Islam culture and prevents me from understanding how any good can come of this world dominant and growing religious faith. Can the Islam civilization be considered civilized when, by religious custom and via the writings of its founder Mohamed, women are required to hide themselves? We are talking about at least 50 percent of the Islam population who are required to put themselves behind scarves. This custom or practice defies modesty. It is plain suppression.

  7. Hats. Who's against women wearing hats? There's entire industries based on them. Both they and scarves are fashion statements.

    I wonder how he feels about those who are against NOT covering their heads. I think THAT is the issue.

    And they said Bush was dumb.

  8. Why wasn't Michelle with him in his visit to the middle east "Muslim" countries? How would she have been treated, what would she be required to wear? I understand that in Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to sit in the same room with men while eating....... Michelle in the satellite dining room???

    Have Michelle and Obama sat together in their screening room and seen the 2009 film
    The Stoning of Soraya M."????